• Chantel Matthews

Morning pages - Toi Tu Toi Ora

Updated: Mar 3

In this gallery, artist Shane Cotton offers a meditation on the theme of journeying in historical European, contemporary NZ art and Māori art. Journeys are full of promise, but they also take us into the unknown. They involve the prospect of new encounters, discoveries and experiences, or perhaps a return home. The land and water over which one travels represent thresholds, and sometimes crossing a threshold involves a set of character, endurance, skills of navigation. In myths and narratives, journeys often involve individual self-discovery.

Vessels are intrinsic to the idea of journeying. A mode of transport, they also accompany the journey-maker, carrying important objects of culture and exchange. Vessels, too, carry people in and out of life: the pregnant body holds new life, while waka kōiwi (burial chests) transport and hold the dead. How a vessel is decorated or adorned relates to more than its purpose - its social value is also signalled this way. Conveying and containing the histories and stories of people, the ornate carvings on waka taut (war canoes) speak to the whakapapa (lineage) of journeying, both in a literal and in a genealogical sense.

Situated in the historic Mackelvie gallery, this installation traverses the geographic and temporal to chard an ever-shifting and open-ended journey that considers various cultural associations to the land - its containment, colonisation and ownership. In this regard the waka is both vessel and the catalyst for journey and contemplation.

Jasmine Te Hira (1990) The beauty of invisible grief 2016, ornament made from water collected from her aaa, frozen into a hei tiki form.

Neke Moa (1971) Tuku iho 2019, Nō hea koe? 2019, Ki a wai? 2019, He mea? 2019, Hinemoana 2018

Arnola Manaaki Wilson (1928-2012) He Tangata, He Tangata 1956, Totara

Mere Harrison Lodge (1944), Te-Toka-a-Tōrea (1963) Bronze and Kauri Base

Mere Harrison Lodge (1944), Mata Whenua (1963) Bronze and Kauri Base

Shona Rapira-Davis 1951, Nga Moreau 1982-98


Linda Munn 1960, Reconstituting the constitution, tea anyone? 2012

Ralph Hotere 1931-2013, Black paintings 1969

Maureen Lander 1942, Wai o te Marama 2004

Kereama Taepa 1979, Pātaki Sonic 2017

Donna Tupaea-Petero 1971, Maro 2007, Pihepihe 2007

Peter Robinson 1966, Strategic Plan 1998

Brett Graham 1967, Te Hōkioi 2008

Claudine Muru 1970, Ko Nga o Rongomaraeroa 2003

Maureen lander, Mata Aho Collective, 2020