'I was an innocent island boy until your mother came along' - Inside Joke

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"The exotic is intriguing and therefore longed for, the conquest of exploration by colonial nations left the trace of devastation in its wake. La Petit Mort engagement between the explorers and the local populations ensued horrible deaths from venereal diseases. It is said that Captain Cook himself has syphilis and conducted extramarital affairs during his numerous campaigns.

In 1774 Cook attempted to land on the pacific nation of Niue. Cook’s crew was forcefully repelled by the screaming spear brandishing people as they feared the visitors would bring diseases and afflictions - a fate that incurred to other pacific nations that welcomed the European colonists.

This work is a homage to the defence reaction of the Niuean people to defend itself from a threat. It is also a to a family joke where my father would say ‘I was fine until your grandfather married me off to your mother, the innocent island boy taken by the palangi that brought their diseases.’ It makes lite of a dark fate." - Artist Statement

Credits: 

First shown in the exhibition La Petite Mort, Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville (2019)