• Chantel Matthews

Morning Pages

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

I woke up this morning thinking about the vessels I am making and what outcomes do I visualise. What do I envisage seeing, hearing, feeling, or even participating in when it comes to delivering on particular outcomes, ie, art, show, event, insight, etc.

Suppose I use the vessels as an example being shown in a gallery space. In that case, I think about all the galleries I have visited over the last week and seeing works on display, ie, sculptures, paintings, objects, etc., none of it appealed to me as an outcome for my artwork. The idea that something made can only be observed and appreciated or not appreciated for existing doesn't seem satisfying. 

At least with the cuppa tea station, the cups made serve a function and a purpose: to share, connect, and create space for such opportunities to exist and operate. The objects, however, in their making provide me with a process I enjoy. This is the chance to connect with Whenua, make with my body, centre myself spiritually and mentally, and make connections with my tupuna. Acknowledge whakapapa, nature, and in doing bring a sense of purpose and mental well-being.

What does it mean then to only make for my own wants and needs, create self-care through making, create a memory of the act to then destroy, and return them to a function or purpose that serves others?

This birth, death, and rebirth seem to be a pattern I like when making or the temporary bringing me back to sculptural moments.

Weird process, but it is looking something like

  1. Throwing cups connects me to the making, the doing, tradition, women's craft and their place as domestic holders. Consider function, purpose, kai korero, holding time and space.

  2. Some the cups will go to the cuppa tea station to be used by others and others will be turned into other objects/forms (female forms, spine, stacking symbol of connection with others, whakapapa, inspired by nature, morning pages, moments)

  3. glaze them in wai moana (home) connection to turangawaewae, whanau, whakapapa, tupuna, atua, wai, cleansing, healing

  4. Photograph vessels as an archive of their existence, capture the moment, the outcome of my well-being, evidence of my making with my body and mind, the spiritual connection.

  5. Smash the vessels into shards, create enough fragments to turn them back into a function or purpose for others, ie, furniture, domestic. Ideas that come to mind are either a dining table that can house a cuppa tea station or a bench to enjoy a cuppa tea from the tea station. (the vessels used in the furniture will be the used cups from the cuppa tea station.

  6. The cuppa tea station will exist alongside the making of vessels as cups will continue to be made alongside the vessels to extend others' well-being. The joy I get from making the vessels will run parallel with the cuppa tea station that gives to others. The making holds space for me as the tea station holds space for others. 

Of all the works I have looked at in the last week at galleries, the main one that sticks out to me is Olivia Blyth (Waiata), For it existing in a really visible/invisible way. You don't know the work exists unless you ask or read about it. The idea that it sits there and performs for all that exists. It has a purpose, it is functional if you take from it, it produces healing and cleansing properties, which can give you a sense of home with its smell and kai. I like this idea of it not necessarily being owned or criticised, but rather something that takes care of you and relies on you to take care of it will continue to exist in life and death.



Olivia Blyth Untitled (Waiata)

The permanent garden installation Untitled (Waiata) is a process in motion. Weaving the past and present of the site into a composition which will grow with Objectspace’s future, the planting is sensitive to the movements of sunlight and indigeous plant species of the site, invoking their connection to the social contexts of the surrounding areas.

Blyth has made a selection of plants inspired by the traditional Māori healing form of Rongoā, with a particular emphasis on those designated as having healing and cleansing qualities. In time these species will provide shelter and sustenance for roaming insects and birdlife. The inclusion of taro calls into presence the earlier wealth of urban gardens found in Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and Grey Lynn, and signals to their important participation in the cultural life of the area.

Attentive to the poetic and symbiotic relationships of these plant species, together, and with growth, their leaf surfaces will begin to reflect a subtle, everchanging light path across the entrance to Objectspace, bringing with it a sense of movement, sound and luminosity to visitors.

The practice of artist and designer Olivia Blyth (Ngati Hamoa) investigates place, transitional spaces and the non-human contributors to our human communities. Applying ancient Polynesian frameworks to her research and methods, Blyth focuses on the role and responsibilities of the artist’s work within our communities.