2020's artistic headspace was survival mode. The constant banging of my head against the wall trying to see if anything useful fell out. As New Zealand's first lockdown hit, I was venturing into moving image capturing live activation. Due to the lack of accessibility to materials, working with a digital media was a good path to go down. But, glass half empty, the isolation of lockdown had me sheltered from any outside connections, which, I discovered in 2020, is integral to my practice: CONNECTION.
I managed to claw my way through the last year of my BFA using a lot of blood, sweat, tears, emotional eating and sleepless nights. It ended with me (barely) submitting FONUA, a moving image depicting relationships with the land. It featured my face throughout 90% of it. I'm tired of seeing my face and hearing my voice in my work. It felt like navel gazing for subpar results.
FONUA, 2020, Screenshot of moving image.
After a well spent summer of purposely doing nothing, I'm back in class ready to explore things outside of my face.
I want to explore carved God's that were in the temples of pre-colonial Moana during my honours year. I slightly tapped into the ideas of taonga within ritual, last year through my works PONO: Ku/Hina. I'm wanting to go deeper.
Screenshot from Moving image works: Taonga, which was supporting PONO: Ku / Hina
I've taken a few trips to the museum and I feel a deep pull towards the carved figures. Before even knowing about their origins, I felt the tapu and wairua of these objects and the extremely wrong placement of these gods in such an exploitative institution. Looking into the wall texts of these Atua's origins added to the sentimentality.
Hikule'o from Auckland War Museum website (I'll go into her history in another post)
In terms of the studio practice I want make these objects and see if I can imbue these self made objects with the essence that I feel when being in the presence of the original taonga.
With the contextual academia I would like to explore the connotations of these "artefacts", I've done a physical brainstorm which I'll insert :)
I can't wait to work with my hands again and get messy!