Olivia Webb

Anthems of Belonging

24 minutes5 channel installation / Digital Video / Colour / 5 x Stereo Sound

"For 18-months Olivia Webb worked closely with five New Zealand families to write songs that reflect their feelings about place and belonging in Aotearoa. Each of the families, including the artist’s own, composed an anthem that embraces their values, concerns, and aspirations. These songs have different vocal qualities, musical structures, and lyrics, often including ideas that do not feature in New Zealand’s current national anthem God Defend New Zealand, a musical setting of a poem written by Irish-born Thomas Bracken in the 1870s. These New Zealand families have cultural and ancestral ties to Kiribati, Zambia, Samoa, the Philippines, England and the Netherlands. Their anthems are sung from their lounge rooms, emphasising both the personal and political qualities of using one’s voice. Brought together in this exhibition, these songs form a collective expression of our community today, acknowledging the rich diversity and constantly changing nature of Aotearoa."

Artist's statement

Other works by Olivia Webb

CIRCUIT is the
leading voice
for artist moving image
in Aotearoa New Zealand,
distributing works,
critical review and
which reflect our unique, contemporary
South Pacific context.