Developed by Asia New Zealand Foundation.
Toured by Exhibition Services.
An artist printmaker's reflection on a community’s everyday activities using source imagery from personal and historical archives.
Saturday August 15 – Sunday September 8, 2019, Gallery 2
"When I started this MFA we stayed at a retreat near a river that flowed through a gorge and out to the west coast. We had been told to bring our togs but as it happened the weather not so good. More importantly though, there was a rahui on the river after two men had drowned at its mouth that week. One of those men was a person I had known in childhood.
The contemplation of this and the reminder of my past reinforced ideas I had around uncovering, through the process of printmaking, what it means to watch the river flow past from a single point. In other words, how to tell a story that has no beginning or end. I started with my own story of daily rituals and where it fitted in this endless flow of the quotidian and life as process.
In my second year I got the opportunity to mine the archives of Puke Ariki Museum in Taranaki. My research has focused on the western New Plymouth suburb of Moturoa where my family have lived for many generations. Moturoa is a suburb where industry butts up against the residential. It’s unique characters and ramshackle structure led it to be nicknamed Tiger town. I wanted to uncover some of the subtleties of this uniqueness. The best place to uncover the nature of this hard working, hard living community I remembered was through its ordinariness. The repetition of the everyday that is both specific and universal.
A community flows on and only within its many little endings is it possible to reflect on its story. It also flows on never endingly, appearing to change little as we observe from a fixed perspective in time. But this is not how it really is, the flow of time in a community is no more linear than the cyclical flow of a river. With each infinitely divisible moment change is afoot, imperceptibly, until we have another curve in the rivers path, another generation standing on its banks, another storm swelling its sides to run ruin over our attempts to control its presence. Printmaking is the medium I have chosen to explore this perpetuation of the commonplace. Hand based print mediums such as etching, lithography and woodcut, are heavily invested in process. Investigations into subject are slowed to a pace that channels its centuries old history and the lineage of artists who have used it to express their ideas. It is alchemy, it is repetition, it is labour, it is contemplation on surprise revelations, and it is an instinctive pursuit to the heart of subject and process via the paper and plate. I have used its methodology to draw an analogy to the repetitions of daily life and to build a narrative of sorts that speaks of the both universal ordinary and that which is specific to this community."