Emily Parr / Arielle Walker

Whatu Aho Rua (2020)

14 min 26 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

Whatu Aho Rua opens with a shot of the waves rolling onto the shore, above which the sky is pale blue and unblemished. As the work continues, we are shown more images of the beach and the shore: wind in the dunes, the shoreline, Taranaki maunga, eroded cliffs, ivy growing on the tree, a seal on rocks. A patchwork banner of yellows, browns, and lilacs, is held in the gusting wind and billows across the frame of the camera.

Across these images we hear the kōrero between artists Emily Parr and Arielle Walker. However, compared to its teina work, Whatuora, the stories we hear in Whatu Aho Rua are more poetic, less directly conversational. Like the fiber that separates and then comes together in their whatu aho rua, at moments, the two voices speak in unison and become indistinguishable from each other.

At different points, Whatu Aho Rua can be experienced as a visual essay, or a poem, a conversation, or documentation of a sculpture. The kōrero stretches across time to the past, and into the future, as well as capturing now, the artists’ present in Tāmaki Makaurau. One voice says, "where we stand again, here, at a distance from things, but also together. Together with each other, together with the plants that grow here, the waters that flow to here, with the winds that reach here with every breath, connecting everything beneath and through them."

Other works by Emily Parr / Arielle Walker

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