Te Rerenga Wai ō Tīkapa Moana – The flowing waters of Tīkapa Moana, 2016
Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), pāua shell and stain
eight parts, 7,000–4,000 x 170 mm diameter each (variable)
The flowing waters of the Hauraki Gulf are known by my people as Tīkapa moana ō Hauraki.
Just as those waters flow in and around these islands, I invite you to move in and through this installation.
Often with artwork we are asked to not touch the work, but to view it from a “safe” distance, likewise many will view often Māori culture from an observer’s perspective, from a position of ‘safety’ rather than engaging and immersing oneself in it.
This work is intentionally placed near a pathway, unavoidable and inviting that engagement with the Māori cultural narratives that it talks of. I believe that understanding manifests itself through engagement.
These narratives talk of rangatiratanga, honouring past and present leaders, guardians, tohunga, intellectual and spiritual ascension, enlightenment through education and the birds reference guardianship of the land and wairua whenua.
– Chris Bailey