In Whatuora we hear the kōrero between the two artists, Arielle Walker and Emily Parr, as they explore their whakapapa, their connections to each other, and their desire to connect with their tūpuna wāhine, whose voices and faces are often so absent in archives and museums.
The work shows a pair of hands weaving with white and green thread, and when the voice changes, another pair of hands is shown, working on a different weaving project, this time in pastel pink, green, and brown.
In Whatuora the images of the whatu show a gradual building, a slow accumulation of connections and dependencies in the thread. This physical act is connected to the search for tūpuna the voices tell us about. Bodies and histories, language and stories are intertwined, and passed between the artists. As one voice says, “and so we are on this journey together, learning our reo, learning to whatu.”
At the finish of the work, the camera turns upward to look at the branches of a Norfolk pine, and then down to the waves washing against the sand.