The Keirunga Arts and Crafts Society, Havelock North
ran a comptetion in 2008 for the Level 5 Design class at EIT, Taradale.
They were seeking a gate that would make an entrance...
It was just the beginning of winter when we visited the site,
the towering trees over arthurs path were bare and beautiful
Inspired by the name of the Gardens,
I looked upwards and I thought of the beautiful tui
which would be back in the treetops when spring returned.
The tui is a bird which in some Maori narratives, was said to be a guardian of the 12th heaven
Bridge St, Ahuriri
Following the success of the Keirunga gates, I chose to follow the path of 3D Design for the last 2 years of my Degree study.
I chose an existing Cafe in Bridge St to re-design. We were required to investigate the theme of Deconstruction,
along with the impact of the Napier Earthquake, 1931.
I was fascinated and awed by the of the power of nature, the incredible change in the water levels as the Ahuriri Estuary rose approx 6ft, and what was previously an extensive harbour, became the small estuary it is today.
The 3D drawing below draws on the images of the earthquake damage around the Ahuriri Wharves, the pre-earthquake maps of the harbour, and the 6Ft change of water levels.
Inspired by the work of Enric Miralles, as part of my design process, I also used 2D Collages to
investigate and explore the balance of the space, and began to develop these ideas
to work with the space of the Cafe.
... the big things in life
we should not forget
we should not take for granted ...
The three things we need to exist.
The fundamentals of life.
In this project we were to look into an ancient culture, and from this develop a set of three sculptures relating to shelter,water and food. The three sculptures were required to interlock in some way.
Looking into ancient Aztec art and patterns, I was fascinated by the geometric representations of nature. The geometric designs were creatively connected, making more designs on a larger scale, and inscribed into the stonework from which their shelters were constructed. The Aztecs developed their own version of the koru, or spiral, which was stylised into a square formation.
Cut and carved into my roof, water vessel and cooking platform, are patterns derived from a much more modern symbol of existence.
respect and identity
Does your left foot try and change your right foot?
They are very similar, yet they are also opposite.
If the left foot forced the right foot to be left,
would they work together?
If we respect our differences
we can walk forward
in a straight line
...its a question of balance...
A study into Don Binney's landscape and bird paintings, resulted in my own painting which by appropriating his style, is an attempt to join his conversation about landscape and identity.
At this stage I had been living in the Hawkes Bay for about 5 years. The landscape here is dry and bare, a stark contrast to the green, lush Eastern Bay of Plenty from where I come.
Will the Hawkes Bay ever be my home?
On a tractor trip out to the Cape Kidnappers, I reacted to the raw beauty of this landscape, and the birds relationship with it. The gannets are born with the knowledge that this is home. After migrating to Australia for their 'teenage' years, they return to the Cape, to settle down and raise a family.
Kind of like some people...
... home is where the heart is...
On a more serious note, our print brief required some exploration of ideas of dissent.
when is a box
not a box?
When I was asked to create a bug, why did I end up making a snail? Is it another connection to the sea shells of my childhood? Regarded as an annoying garden pest, do snails play an important role in the ecological landscape?
Here was a chance to recreate a garden pest into something whimsical...
My snail had developed a mutual relationship with a plant, to such an extent that one could not survive without the other. A recipe for extinction.
At night the flowers in which the bugs lived would open up, and the bugs would glow and make eerie and exquisite musical sounds, to attract other bugs to pollinate the plant.
The only record of the bugs existence, was found in this journal, clutched in the skeletal bones of a man's hand many,many years later.
The sounds of the snail had enchanted the explorer, to such an extent that he was unable to sleep, he was obssessed, he was mesmorised, and eventually he could no longer function, existing only to hear another night of song...
... the little things in life ...
sea and sand
memories of a child
I have often created works in sets of three, is this because I am one of three?
These three shell sculptures are representations of myself and my sisters, and of the many hours we spent wandering along the beach collecting shells with our Mum. Creating these sculptures directly from our earth mother, Papatuanuku, seems so appropriate.
Each shell was crafted from the same plaster mould.
They are all the same, and yet they are all different.
Depicting our individual strengths and characteristics, each shell has been adorned with different patterns:
Unaunahi - the fish scales
Kowhaiwhai - the generations
Patikitiki - the flounder
...the knowledge of the hands and the mind...
So where do I begin...Look to the past, to see the future
the sun sets
on an old world
the sun rises
on a new world
yet not so different...
This sculpted artwork represents the journey of my heritage, the two worlds from where I come. My European ancestors immigrated to New Zealand, to come to a new land, bringing with them everything they owned. My aunty passed on to me a doily, which was made by my great grandmother from the very linen which had travelled over on the immigration journey. The pattern at the top is derived from this doily and is like a sun, setting or rising. Handcrafts skills have been handed down the generations, my grandmother taught me embroidery, crosstitch, knitting and crochet.
My mother's whanau are from Waimana, a valley on the north-eastern edge of Te Urewera Rainforest. She also taught me knitting and crochet, as well as taaniko weaving (Maori hand weaving without a loom). The lower design represents a weaving pattern called Aramoana (the waves of the sea). Again these skills were traditionally handed down from generation to generation.
The wire represents both the journey from one side of the world to the other, and myself as I come from both these places.
So the two worlds of my heritage, the world of the women, they are very different worlds, and yet they are also the same...
To these women, I owe so much
...the knowledge of the hands and the mind...