Whenua | makutu #1 Mt Taranaki

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"Whenua | makutu #1 Mt Taranaki is a seeming futile effort, executed with humour and hope.

An installation consisting of two videos (Taranaki and Landscape!), this work responds to an article by a small team of researchers in the U.S. and New Zealand who found evidence of large deposits of gold and silver in at least six reservoirs beneath several volcanoes in New Zealand. I found the idea of tupuna maunga desecrated by gold mines horrific.


In Landscape!, I am creating a drawing for Taranaki Maunga, on Muriwai beach, simply using a garden rake as a drawing or carving tool. Like dedications, these manifestations create a latticework of protective imagery. The two videos are shown side by side. The second video, Taranaki, represents Te Ao Wairua, and contains footage of the Maunga in full fog. Mount Taranaki is well known for rapid, sometimes life threatening changes in weather conditions. The mountain is characteristically veiled and protected from view, its secrets hidden for the day. The pattern work within the films is a collection of interlaced imagery collected over several years from across Aotearoa.

Both videos are looped, so that I am locked in a constant dizzying cycle, continually raking, both in the physical world of Landscape! and metaphysically in the layout of the exhibition, with the two works side by side. The aim of which is to cover the length of Aotearoa, creating an enduring protective 'enchantment'. I plan to continue the work along the central plateau, Rangipō Desert and down to Kā Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps), mapping a grid from mountain to mountain." - TR