OPANUKU | SOIL PIGMENT.
Developing connection to land by collecting a soil sample from a Harakeke NZ flax plant to make pigment. This soil was gathered by the Opanuku stream.
As the plant research, material and textiles development progresses, so does my understanding of the depth of knowledge my Tupuna /ancestors had as master navigators, innovators, survivalists and inventors they had a true connection to the land and sea, understanding the flow of the seasons and the evolutionary changes constantly occurring within multitudes of interconnected systems. Working with plants and their materials has been increasing my awareness of how disconnected I am from these cycles and for me, a reconnection to the soil seems a good place to start.
*image: Harakeke leaf 'brush', Soil Pigment & Linseed Oil.
SOIL PAINTING: THE SEEN
SOIL MAGNIFICATION 11.5 STEREOSCOPIC: THE UNSEEN.
Drawing from our indigenous way finding ancestors, this work is inspired by the shell & stick maps used as a way to illustrate navigation between islands, they depict the ocean currents using sticks & Islands as shells.
These maps where mainly a learning tool as Master Navigators would feel the swell of the ocean, watch the birds and migratory patterns over the seasons and the stars to find their way in the Pacific. There is a great version of 'the Story of Kupe' as written down by Himiona Kāmira and translated by Bruce Biggs here. This version not only talks about the adventure itself but what we found most interesting and inspiring are the accounts of Kupe surveying the land as potential for sustaining the tribal community, noting the various types of soil (for growing) around the country as they explored. The idea behind these paintings is to enhance the materials, show case the wood grains, the pigment & the muka plant fibre thread.
* Image (left): Kohu | Mist & Fog: detail carved & muka (hand extracted Harakeke NZ flax threads, colour variation of the thread is natural from the variation type) + white pigment & linseed oil.
Image (right): Awa | river: Muka & European linen thread, pigment & linseed oil - carved detail inspired by aerial views of rivers.
Ipu | vessel:
This last piece is a work in progress, we are experimenting with harakeke as the plant fibre content of a biocomposite. Keeping the form really simple the aim is to make a bowl or Ipu in Māori, with harakeke (the bowl on the plinth is the very first iteration/ experiment). The next stage will be building in the matrix materials to strengthen and complete the biocomposite form.
THE FULL BODY OF WORK INCLUDES:
2X PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK, (FLAX, SOIL PIGMENT, BINDER & SOIL PIGMENT, LINSEED OIL) PRINTED ON ARCHIVAL PHOTO RAG, FRAMED.
2X SOIL DRAWING & MAGNIFICATION PRINTED ON ARCHIVAL PAPER, FRAMED - * SOLD.
2X PAINTINGS ON BOARD, FRAMED.
HARAKEKE IPU/ BOWL (NFS).
1X HD SOIL DOCUMENTATION: VIDEO/SOUND PROJECTION.