2 Waters | The acquision and the return.
HD video - split screen + Sound
6 Photographic Images
1x bottle water from Te Awakairangi River.
How can we care for a river if we have no connection to it?
Over a period of 1 month I worked with Te Awakairangi River in Lower Hutt. The first screen shows the taking of the water, in a quiet moment I asked the river to join me and I took some water home in a jar. The second shows the return of the water, taken back by my mother.
Using the Maramataka Maori Lunar Month I woke every morning at 5am and spent time with the river. According to Maori lore our rivers, lakes, mountains, land are all a living part of our genealogy. Speaking to the river as if it was a member of my family became a daily ritual. In the time of our ancestors, this ritual would have taken place throughout every chore of survival throughout the day.
Documenting this process through personal 'conversations', the 'river' began to feel like an entity in the room. If I think back to the jar on the window sill I can still feel its presence.
As a Māori, I have been taught to regard a river as a tupuna or ancestor, to think of a river as I would a grandmother. The knowledge of how to think in this way was lost to me until I made this work. On returning the water to the river I felt a huge sense of connection. My mother performed a karakia of gratitude to the river for sharing its knowledge & Mauri (life force).
(Images: 2x video stills/ screen captures).