Seasons of the Soul
21st May – 3rd June, Depot Artspace, Auckland.
Seasons of the Soul represents a collection of past and recent works which talk about the two major influences in my life and art – my Maori and European ancestry.
Through these works I acknowledge my Maori Whakapapa through the reworking designs found in Kowhaiwhai (rafter paintings), Ta Moko (tattoo) and Whakairo (carving). Links to generations past and ones relationship with the land are represented through the symbolic unfolding of the koru, depicting growth, nurture and regeneration. Many of my works share the actual colouring of organic paints and inks found in the New Zealand bush and I have endeavored to portray the incised lines of To Moko and the fluid strength of Whakairo.
In contrast the theatrical nature of the Victorian period is represented in the other works in this exhibition, highlighting issues of acceptance and social expectations. The Victorian era was a time of great industrial growth and exposure through colonization and these works serve to highlight the Victorian interest in death, science, religion and the bizarre. The collection of dolls pays homage to iconic Christian sculpture and the works as a whole serve to impress upon the viewer the culture of collection and fetishism encouraged by museums and private collectors.
I see the works in this exhibition as valuable memory aides and items which seek to capture the sense of wonder in an age which in many aspects is not so dissimilar to our own.
Emotion and symbols of growth are represented in the rich earthy colours of the Maori works while the dark opulence of the Victorian pieces addresses ideals of beauty, society and personal worth.
By positioning these works together in the gallery space I wish to show the diversity of our cultural heritage in New Zealand today and the close connection and interweaving of the cultures and influences which make up each one of us.