• Chantel Matthews

Morning pages

ko au te whenua

ko the whenua ko au

I am the land

and the land is me


As we de-installed, I thought about the recent conversations around cultural appropriation. Speaking for myself as a maker, with particular work that is woven in Te ao Māori, the work is inseparable to myself because it carries with it the many layers of whakaapa and mana. It is a connectedness with the living and non-living (ie ancestors) those before me.


The goal was always to leave the land as we found it or to leave it better from our existence in that space. As we pulled the waka out of the ground, poured back the earth that was saved and watered it from the Moana I couldn't help but feel one with the whenua.


This intuition, this feeling is only active in me through art and adulthood. if art is a vessel into this conversation, I need to figure out how this relates to my research in the bigger picture.


Waka ā hapori de-install. 16th May 2020