Guy Fawkes, perhaps the most exciting, dangerous and reckless of Kiwi celebrations, holds a contested place within New Zealand culture. Historically tied to this country’s early foundation as a colony of Great Britain, its place as a New Zealand celebration has come under scrutiny as some deem it a dangerous and unnecessary remnant from our colonial past. This project aims to examine Guy Fawkes celebrations in Wellington and wider New Zealand culture.
Mighty Box belongs to a broader body of work called Wildlife by Holloway Smith that investigates, rather than polemicising, the social context of Guy Fawkes and its function in our society. The title, Wildlife reflects an attempt to recontextualise Guy Fawkes in a contemporary New Zealand setting as a celebration under threat. The recurring theme of bird-life provides a metaphor suggesting that domestic fireworks and inherently Guy Fawkes celebrations as we know them, are potentially endangered whilst also celebrating the positive and historic aspects of the life of this celebration within New Zealand.