DEMO exhibition - Whenua, Wai, Rangi

  • 1 July 2024

Opening 5:30pm on Thursday 27 June, Whenua, Wai, Rangi.

Kim Fifield, Maia Wharewera-Ballard, Jo Dalgety, Shannon Conacher, Nadia Marychurch, Manny Boyack. 

The artists warmly invite you to celebrate Matariki at the opening of Whenua, Wai, Rangi. Earth, water and sky are some of the most enduring themes in Aotearoa's art historical discourse. With this legacy as a backdrop, works in the exhibition address our current situation; looking at the cultural, spiritual, social and political ways we connect with our environment. Through an array of media and processes, the artists in this exhibition contemplate how these elements shape their perceptions of place, space and time. 

Successful exhibition - a very busy opening on Thursday evening, and constant visitors over the next 2 days Friday and Saturday 12 noon - 6pm.
The reception to my group of paintings called Dalgety Road was very good. The combination of paintings and views made it easy to tell the story, and those that visited or came from the Hauraki Plains recognised the views and added their stories.
My Statement:

In 1910, my great-grandfather was among the first to be balloted land at Ngātea; this occurred after the Hauraki Plains wetlands had been denuded and drained.

A Kahikatea forest had grown on these swamp lands for millions of years, providing fish, birds, flax, roots, and building materials for local Māori. 

Early European explorers such as Captain Cook and Joseph Banks thought that: “Swamps might doubtless easily be drained” and the newly formed Government considered the land was ‘wasted’ and could be developed into productive flat farmland.

“There were stumps on the farm but they were gradually got rid of. They were all carted off the paddocks and that was our firewood. There must have been some big trees on the place but at the time we went there it was covered in ti-tree but there were some big stumps in the ground.”

– May Dalgety (nee Keith), my grandmother – she moved onto this farm at 4 years old. Oral History Unit of the Historical Society of the Hauraki Plains, interview with May at her home in Ngātea 28 July 1997.

My interest lies in making work that questions our colonisers' decisions. A majority of those decisions were made because of money, making that a priority rather than people or wildlife, and nature. We now know how important the interconnectedness of flora, fauna, and land is, and yet we continue to make decisions with money as the primary decision.

Overall images of the exhibition:

Share this post