Janine Williams, Black Picket Fence, 2022
As the work creates a movement with the wind and the site, it reflects the dance of our consumed traces repeating in nature. Echoing the drift of micro-plastics carried in the elements a dance of dire consequence for ocean habitats and marine species. By hoisting large colour sheets to the wind, soft plastic compositions flutter on lines that lean and tilt
It is easy to visit Waiheke with a mind to relax and enjoy the many leisures that the island offers – among them this sculpture festival.
With her work Black Picket Fence, artist Janine Williams, of Ngāti Pāoa descent, invites willing viewers into a reappraisal of the land as ancestral whenua and into a conversation around land ownership privatisation and dispossession and the lasting effects of these things on local iwi.
The form of the picket bears several layers of meaning, as a symbol of the quarter-acre dream with its footing in Crown thefts, and as a marker of the exclusion felt by many of those who whakapapa to the island when accessing their ancestral lands, now sub-divided and fenced-off.
It might also recall the use of the picket within activist efforts of past and present. Williams describes the work a homage to the people who work to protect the land from private interests, carved cross-shaped stars onto the posts in the manner of purapurawhetū tukutuku patterning as a gesture to the many descendants of Pāoa and an affirmation of their right to occupy these lands.