The Return of Manuruhi, 2015
According to Māori legend, Tangaroa – god of the sea in both Māori and Cook Island mythology – abducted Manuruhi, son of Ruatepupuke who had offended him, and transformed him into a wood carving to adorn his house beneaththe sea. Manuruhi’s body (Tekoteko) was eventually rescued by his father Ruatepupuke who burnt the house down and returned his son back to his own world. Symbolically this story is about the loss of one twin son and the gain of the other in the artist’s life.
Corten steel, rebar, medium tensile rod
“We are faced with many challenges in life, some more demanding than others. At times there will be frustrations at not succeeding at first; this teaches you to be resilient, to have patience and perseverance to achieve your goals. The arrows are a reminder that you need to be strong to overcome those shortfalls, and that with the right attitude and determination you can learn from those experiences. Take aim and hit your Target.”
Stop the Clock, 2015
Galvanized and mild steel, stub axle bearings
“This installation, consisting of 3 giant kinetic dandelion seed heads seen at different moments in time, is set on an exposed headland enabling it to respond to the wind. The seed heads are a celebration of heart and mind inspired by childhood memories of wishing on dandelion clocks to tell the time. The work combines the imagery of a common weed with scrap industrial materials to question society’s preconceived ideas of what is valuable or lowly, permanence and the ephemeral and nature vs man-made. They are also an exploration of form and scale, seeking the point where nature meets with engineering and playing with architectural and domestic scales. The possibilities when welding steel components are exploited to construct the structural yet delicate forms, engineering them so that the strength is in their external surface.”
The Precariats, 2015
Steel, aluminium & mixed media
The Precariats is Donaldson’s first large scale outdoor work. Donaldson wants to continue the conversations explored within her last exhibition “Supergroup” at the Audio Foundation, 2014, Auckland, and to highlight the role of financial support.
For The Precariats she has collaborated with sponsors and supporters and their financial contributions, ideas and identity have been translated into sculptures, text and objects situated within a large pyramid frame she has constructed. It talks to her generation’s positioning in making creative work but also the historical systems of patronage. She wishes to give exposure to a seemingly ‘unartistic’ conversation, and one in which her gender is often disadvantaged. Viewers are invited to ‘play’ the sculpture during the exhibition. Influenced by the aesthetics of mobiles, window hangings, sun catchers and dioramas the combination of words and objects are also playable as percussive instruments and will be included in a number of performances by bands and musicians which will be held within the sculpture during the headland Sculpture on the Gulf event.
Massive Vessel, 2015
Corten steel and stainless steel
Massive vessel is a depiction of a stylised boat or small craft, fabricated from corten steel and stainless steel. A reduced simplified form, loosely based on that of the dory – a common at-bottomed, at-sided small craft once widely used for fishing. It is constructed in such a way as to suggest great weight and mass and a fatigued, fractured, slightly split appearance as if it has been loosely made from massive slabs that are beginning to come apart. Its dimensions are distorted so that it tapers to an insubstantial stern section. “My intention is to play with the emotional signature of the ‘vessel’… to create an object that suggest gravitas but ultimately rejects the viewer’s ability to take it seriously…”
First Step to Existentialism, 2015
Solar powered traffic light, solar panels, motor, steel, plastic components, LED lights and electric components
STOP. This is really important. Have you flossed today? Do you buy free range? In life we are faced with decisions constantly. Some big, some small. We are forever processing information. How do we choose to do what we do? Is it easier to do what is expected of us? I believe in doing the right thing whenever possible. But sometimes it’s more complicated than that. Sometimes it’s a matter of not doing the wrong thing. Is the right thing the wrong thing? Is the wrong thing the right thing? It’s a judgment call. Sometimes that takes courage. Don’t forget who you are. You’re a fully- fledged human being.
Ok the light is green now, you can probably go. But don’t listen to me. What would I know?
The Archive Wine Bar, 2015
Wooden pallets, printed corflute, wine bottles
The Archive Wine Bar is a walk-in diorama that takes its inspiration from pop-up roadside cantinas, wunderkabinets (cabinets of curiosity) and paste-up band poster hoardings. It honours our distinctive wine culture here on Waiheke Island.
“Early in the 1990’s I created a fictitious vineyard named 372 ESTATE – after Waiheke’s signature telephone code. Occasionally I would release ‘wines’ inthe form of engraved slate panels. These wall pieces are a riffe on the formal language of wine labels – terroir, varietals, taste signifers et al, as a deviceto explore aspects of the social and natural history of the Hauraki Gulf. The evolution of our wine culture on Waiheke Island parallels the 44 years that I have maintained a house and studio here. Many of the illustrated images inside my wine bar are from artworks now in private collections and include some imaged Gulf News covers.”
Ikebana Bins, 2015
Wheelie bins, assorted native ora, soil and miscellaneous materials
“Too many times my ears have mourned the hateful scream of neighbours wielding chainsaws, who when questioned make comments like ‘rubbish trees’ and ‘wasted space’ to describe an area of overgrown garden. As a response to the ‘clearing’ of such suburban landscapes, I have created an eco-sensitive series of seven portable planters, focusing on living native flora arrangements and using common wheelie bins as an earth vessel. The arrangements are inspired by giant ikebana and guided by the principle that ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. In opposition to the painful screech of chainsaws, contemplative silence is said to be significant in achieving a spiritual ikebana experience.”
the knot not and the not now, 2015
Dacron, stretch fabric, catenary wire, fence posts
“We are a nation of migrants, and, as such, exploring where we came from may help in understanding and explaining something of ourselves. My fence could be seen as a long continuous journey, as a stand-in for one’s family history, its bone-like skeletal form a graphic representation of a family’s travails and triumphs. It is an ode to the kiwi fence – a fence our ancestors may very well have built to shut things out or close things in – psychologically similar to knots. Knots – moments of physical tension – can act as a metaphor for any number of psychological states. This fence invites you to tie your own knots in order to untie those of the past. It encourages others to untie your knots in order to tie new ones and in its own way continues the great New Zealand fencing tradition.”
Glass mirror, aluminium composite panel, aluminium frame, steel rods
Immerse yourself in the surreal and intriguing as you wander through a large maze of mirrors reflecting constantly changing scenes of Waiheke Island. Field Apart, a mesmerising artwork that brings the surreal into a natural environment in a unique and approachable way, is the second work in a series titled FIELD X.
Spanning an area of 15m x 15m, Field Apart contains 36 mirror columns with 144 mirrors which create an ever-changing experience for the audience and passers-by. The environment and the public are the key elements that make up the composition of the installation, and can create ever-changing scenes, where no two experiences are the same.