Rua Kōhatu | Two Stones (2024)

7 min 45 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

In this film, musicians Jake Kīanō Skinner (Ngāti Rangitihi, Tūhoe) and Noel Meek explore their long-running relationship through a shared musical material, stone. Commonly used in the taonga pūoro that Skinner practices and also within the experimental musical traditions that Meek inhabits, both artists consider the lithic as collaborators and actants in their music.

In their relational approach to stone, the artists also look to the strata of history. Hone Tuwhare’s poetry is a key influence, in particular, his 'Thoughts On A Sufi Proverb' which is quoted in the film. Further layers are gathered from the pūrākau that describe the formation of Ngā Kohatu Whakarakaraka o Tamatea Pōkai Whenua / The Port Hills, where the film was shot. In one pūrākau, the hills are formed from an act of violence by Māui, who smothers a vanquished giant in stones, and in another, by Tūterakiwhanoa piling up the sweepings of the Canterbury Plains. The music created by Skinner and Meek reflects these accumulations of history and mythology in the landscape, of stone upon stone.

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.