This painting is about the land and my experience of it. I spend a lot of time at the beach in Raglan, or somewhere near the coast, and often on stormy days, and this in this painting the dripping, scraping, and erasure of paint come from that connection. This painting was made in 2016 and during that time I was interested how our choices as humans about how we use resources and treat the land, affect the environment. I took a series of photographs at our local scrap metal yard, and made drawings of corners of buildings and alcoves on my way to and from my studio on Victoria Street, and these formed the basis for the geometric shapes in my work.
It is a kind of assemblage of urban and natural space, where tension between the solid hard-edged shapes that impose and hover, exist with a fluid organic space. I hope there is a tension or feeling of unease, that in the context of the Anthropocene might provoke us to keep considering how we relate to and care for the world we live in.
There are also links to a book a friend of mine and local author Jay Ruka wrote called ‘Huia Come Home’. What stood out to me and moved me was his description of ‘whakapapa’ and interconnected relationships, “Whakapapa observes commonalities and describes how all things hold together in interconnected relationships” (page 98, Huia Come Home, J.Ruka, 2017). He says a lot more than that, but in the context of this painting, I think it gives a more full picture of what it means to live in the land.
This painting is now part of the Waikato Bequests Trust Collection which is under the care of the Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.