POI <Places of Interest> 2022
Humans have an arrogance with how we use the resources of the world. For POI I look at the deterioration of the health of our own Waikato by transposing my cultural sense of importance of place, modern development, and the timeless truth that without human interference/use and abuse, the land and waters would recover and thrive. I collected water, stones, clay, dirt, sand and flora from 4 keys sites along the Waikato River;
- Kirikiriroa (my birthplace and current home),
- Taupiri (my maunga),
- Rangiriri (my marae Maurea),
- Tuakau/Port Waikato (my whenua and marae Te Kotahitanga).
I turned them into terrariums and hung them from simplified representations of their bridges; Victoria Bridge, Mangawhara Bridge, Rangiriri and Tuakau. The ecosystem of the terrarium reiterates that it is, in fact, us that needs the river, not the river that needs us. Our health is dependant on its health.
The forms are plumb bobs, a hanging component of early land surveying equipment (theodolite) used to divide up the land for profitable agriculture, reiterated in the white tips – the white gold of economy boosting milk and our continued dependance on the dairy industry for which the land was coveted and the giant milk tanks with the clear tubes and windows I remember watching as a child during milking time.
I have suspended them 2.5m high. I needed to create a sense of distance, the distance between the river and the bridges and how, as we have moved to the roads from the river, our larger population has been further distanced from the Waikato. Without touching her, seeing her, being on her daily we have distanced ourselves from being fully aware of her declining health. The string and the glass is to make this distance but also create tension, because it can break.
Glass, Wood, Flora and Fauna, Water, Paint, Resin
Kato is a complete free hand free flow rendering of the artists experience of the Waikato river. It is an unordered retelling of a lived relationship spanning almost four decades both near and far from their ancestral awa. Made in juxtaposition with POI, which deals with a wider relationship and timeline concerning the Waikato, Kato is a collection of visceral and personal experiences painted directly on board without draft. Mirroring the permanence in history of the living we do every day, each stroke is done with the anticipation that it cannot be redone, but can be modified. Doodled onto the surface are memories, tangents, and beliefs inspired by the awa varying from funny to immensely intimate. The awa is spiritually empowering and a tupuna of our family.
Paint on MDF