Barry’s Catch, 2016
cast aluminium, steel and wood
3 parts each comprising 7 panels, 800 x 420 x 28 mm each
The Mangopare kowhaiwhai/Hammerhead Shark design is a repetitive curvilinear pattern that represents genealogical lines.
Oil collected from sharks livers were mixed with ochre to convey painted patterns upon the Māori art world, from wharenui, hoe paddles and hue gourds to Ta Moko.
Barry’s Catch is a sculptural depiction of the traditional harvesting of sharks by Hauraki tribes during the months of January-February. From several hundreds to several thousands the sharks were caught and dried upon long racks. An 1850 Charles Heaphy painting of the Hauraki Gulf captures such a scene with Rangitoto as the backdrop. My own personal experience stems from a visit in 1996 to local Piritahi marae elder Barry Haupokia’s Onetangi home where Hammerheads were suspended from his tree.
The Tui birds atop the vertical posts reference marae orators recounting genealogical histories. The term “Tui, Tui, Tuia” refers to the joining of lineages. The sculptural aspect of this traditionally painted motif echoes Heaphy’s painting, locating the observer in the historical narrative.
– Paora Toi-Te-Rangiuaia