Carving Water Painting Voice, 2016-2017
timber, flax, steel, fibre-glass reinforced plastic, oil stain and sonic composition
7,000 x 3,000 x 1,000 mm (variable)
Sound composed by Helen Bowater
Toa Moana — a canoe made from material salvaged in Niue after Cyclone Heta (2004) — was built by Niue’s last waka master carver, Tamafai Fihiniu, as a gift of gratitude in response to New Zealand’s substantial relief effort. The canoe fared badly in transit to Waiheke and deteriorated further over time. The canoe’s custodians, the Waiheke Waka Ama club, offered the vessel to Kazu Nakagawa in 2016.
The boat dovetailed into a conceptual project Nakagawa was developing, a visual and sonic installation about human voyages. Composer Helen Bowater created a sonic component for a canoe and paddle structure by weaving together numerous stories and songs of migrants in their native tongues that she and filmmaker Ku Nakagawa in Asia recorded. The sound forms a sonic ocean, a medium for ongoing voyages. The newly restored canoe, carved paddles and sound forms an ode to the myriad ethnicities who have travelled to Aotearoa.
3 parts, 1200 x 200 x 200 mm each
Nearly every manufacturing practice produces excess material that falls away or breaks free from the intended form. These are discarded, reshaped or thrown away or re-sold as scrap. However, the importance of these fragments as historical record has long been known as they reveal secrets of the maker, tools, activity, context and use.
Off-Cuts captures the feeling of discarded and unwanted relics from the industry that influenced the development of Waiheke Island and New Zealand during European settlement and occupation. The three large billets forged of solid steel and piled in a seemingly random fashion appear as remnants of a bygone era. Off-Cuts fits into the landscape and its history, a reminder of past hands that worked and shaped the land. At the same time, the work speaks of its making, the sense of the extreme heat and intense power needed to distort solid steel.
Thanks to Rose Engineering and S.A.F.E Engineering for their support.
Untitled Sculpture, 2017
Our work is two signs placed at the beginning and end of the sculpture path. They have the same content – a poem by the modernist Chinese Poet; Gu Cheng. This short verse titled ‘A Generation’ was published in the collection Black Eyes in 1987. It captures a personal sense of unease stemming, in part from a difficult relationship to a culture in state of change.
黑 夜 给 了 我 黑 色 的 眼 睛
我 却 用 它 寻 找 光 明
Dark night gives me dark eyes
And I use them to search for light
Having been found fame as a member of the menglong or misty poets, Gu Cheng emigrated to New Zealand with his wife, Xie Ye, and settled in Rocky Bay in the late nineteen eighties. In 1993 Gu Cheng murdered his wife and hanged himself. Our work is a small intervention, which seeks to remember this traveller to Waiheke and a time when the island was home to one of China’s most famous poets in exile. The circumstances of the couple’s death of without doubt colour the sense of their time in New Zealand but we are also interested in the idea of these people, carrying their culture and the effects of their upbringing in a time of tumult, so far from home. As a consequence of their choice live in Waiheke, the island is significant for another audience that is perhaps not known to the wider public- those students of Chinese literature making a pilgrimage to the island. To the artists, this offers an example of an unknown public.
The Glass Room, 2016
hand cast recycled glass bricks and neon
6,000 x 6,000 x 3,000 mm
I was born in 1972, the year that the Tate Gallery in London purchased Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre. Andre’s work consists of 120 identical bricks stacked on the floor in two layers in a six-by-10 foot rectangle. Equivalent VIII represents a pivotal moment in art and remains an iconic work in the history of 20th century art.
By contrast, my glass bricks are like individual portraits of the humble ‘cinder block’. Each brick is hand cast in a bespoke manner from recycled glass in a time consuming process. The Glass Room stands as an antithesis of industrial mass-produced building materials. Each brick is slightly different depending on the way the glass melted in the kiln, creating the feeling of living cells and walls.
– Gregor Kregar
Whimori is a physical exploration of spatial mark making. Evoking the idea of ‘a scribble’, the work responds to the context of the landscape of the Hauraki Gulf, creating complex relationships between lines, space and human occupation. The scale, repetition and accumulation of curved lines amplifies a rhythmical dynamic energy that echoes the configuration of Waiheke Island’s undulating landscape.
Visitors can engage with this large scale scribble at various levels. From a distance the work appears as giant graphic mark making. Up close, viewers become immersed in the complexity and tactility of the material. Made from recycled irrigation pipes and tubes sourced from the artist’s own greenhouse, the work touches lightly on the natural environment.
10 parts, 700 x 450 mm ea
Dedicated to the community of the South Island town Kaikoura and its coast that was lifted metres into the air during the 14 November 2016 earthquake.
Aotearoa is located on the boundary between two great tectonic plates, the Australian and the Pacific, which behave like shells sliding over the surface of a sphere the Australian plate heading north while the Pacific plate moves west. The eerie exposure of the seabed in Kaikoura resulted from co-seismic movement and produced a shift in the ecosystem.
Kaikoura celebrates the strength and beauty of Kaikoura sea life and its resilience, encouraging the survival during change. The work is a tribute to the local group of paua rescuers and Te Runanga o Kaikoura Ngāi Tahu for their combined effort in relocating sea life. The strength and beauty of the cowry shell inspired my response. Beauty and strength rises from adversity.
– Ioane Ioane
steel, porcelain neolith panels, tree branches, found tools
2,665 x 2,000 x 2,000 mm
THE ROTUNDA OF OLD TREES… AND CHILDHOOD…
…the girl in her mother’s long coat raised the carpenter’s level. The group of four figures froze like porcelain statuettes in the alcoves of the branches, each assuming their given role. They had entered into the private realm of their tree-theatre. No adults were present or would ever decipher the tree’s proclamations. Their stage play, trance-like and hypnotic, could begin.
A leaf was passed to each, as if it were the tongue of the tree. One by one the leaves they held were buttered with the stamen-paste that the tree had made in its natural hollows. The pretence of chewing was the beginning of their séance-play. They disappeared into the tree-theatre with their father’s tools … and each tool they chose from his workshop became their talisman…
– Denis O’Connor
aluminium, stainless steel, automotive two pot paint, galvanised steel, tie rod ends and trailer hubs
3200 x 1100 x 1600 mm
The Rare and Precious White Heron
The Kōtuku came from the heavens, the pet of Io-matua-kore. In one story, it guides Tāne or Māui to the 12th heaven to seek the baskets of knowledge. The Poutama pattern inside the waka references the stairway to the heavens.
The Kōtuku is a solitary bird as it spends most of its time alone, together only once a year to breed. The population was decimated at the turn of the 20th century, as its plumage was particularly sought after to decorate ladies’ hats. On the brink of extinction, a handful of dedicated people nursed the population back to a healthy 150 breeding pairs.
Like us, the Kōtuku lives off the ocean, a finite resource. It is a reminder to manage the seas with great care and respect, and avoid polluting the ocean and contaminating nature’s food chain. A little effort can make positive change for our shared environment.
– Dion Hitchens
Blow up Tokamak, 2016
700 x 2200 mm (diameter)
Blow up Tokamak is developed from a body of works I loosely refer to as ‘portraits of light’. I devised this series as a corollary to the ‘portraits of mass’ works I had been (and still am) developing that came out of going back to base principles in my work, which depict elemental forces or states of matter, mass was the first. The works were necessarily heavy and ‘massive’ and felt so to work on. I have come to think of them as ‘heavy metal ‘ with all the attendant posturing and drama implied. The inflated looking stainless steel works are the ‘pop’ to those ‘heavy metal’ sculptures and I wanted them to be light and playful and ‘materially honest’ – the stainless used to fabricate this piece is stretched and pressurised into the ‘plastic’ inflated-looking form similar to a child’s flotation ring.Tokamak is a Russian word referring to a torus shaped chamber for containing plasma in a continuous looping fusion reaction.
– David McCracken
Buried Gemstone, 2016
Buried Gemstone is exactly that, a large gemstone buried on the headland Sculpture on the Gulf route, the placement known only to the artist. This latent object — a precious stone — presents an encounter between the imagination and the site for the viewer: the headland landscape becomes a field infected by the possibility of the hidden object.
The unseen Buried Gemstone is a counterpoint to the physicality of much of the art on the route. The artist hopes to encourage conversation about the dominance of vision and the role of the imagination in the arts, the way ideas might be buried within objects.
Image: Dane Mitchell
Buried Gemstone Sketch 1, 2016
pigment liner on tracing paper