Seminar Term 2

Ane Tonga’s Guidelines for curators


The crit was a cold reading, which was interesting. I think the wall text needed a bit more info. The cold reading went down a strange lane. The cultural significance needs to be added. I didn’t realise that the sculpture read as commentary on global warming. The differing shapes were questioned. I like that because if we were using normal stones they are all shaped differently. I noticed that as the ice melted, they melded together. It became one piece. I’m not sure if I’m continuing the ice option. I would like to get back to the idea of personification of the gods.

If I were to continue with ice sculpture, I’d like to veer into the global warming reading of it. I would like to create a wall of tiles and make the blocks bigger, maybe test out a ‘rising sea levels’ install. Possibly cast some in resin to maintain the structure as the ice melts.

below is the next day result of the sculpture

I like it.

Research Question

Remnants and Embodiments of gods

I started my research with the carved Atua in the Auckland War Museum taken from Polynesian temples. I’ve always been drawn to these objects even before knowing their backstories. I see them as living objects imbued with tapu. I want to explore why I love them and how to do them justice, which is oppositional to their current and historical treatment.

While using these museum owned objects, I couldn’t think of them in a positive light. I had to reestablish them in a neutral/positive light to get away from the negative connotations of the loss of stolen taonga. After re-engineering the energy (though telling their stories correctly and giving them justice), I was then able to work. I have whittled down my investigation of these original objects. Firstly: embodiment of the gods. Secondly: Remnants of the Gods.


Through the first strain of research I’m able to understand the individual Atua and get to know them through a conduit lense and tell their stories. This requires heavy research into mythology, which has been done through Dr Mahina and a Tongan Mythology podcast. This research breaches into the field of performativity/activation and possibly theatre. Also tala-e-fonua (in short, the Tongan Lense). I'm currently working on fashion/wearable art aspects. Also including aspects of vogue ballroom, which I see as a space for endless creativity. The fashion world is too stuffy, the wearable arts world is too costumey. I’m hesitant to use traditional tongan regalia due to the lack of separation of church and state in modern tongan society.


Although there is a fine line between these two lines of investigation, the research of remnants are relating to ecology and cultural traditions. I enjoy finding cultural practices that are still used today that have been influenced by mythology. Such as a stone laying (which connects to Tangaloa) or funerals (which connect to Pulotu). These practices are still here through the colonisations of these lands. I would like to speak to the resilience of this act. This line of research currently breaches into the field of sculpture and tapu.