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Wairua o te Pounamu: Wound Pounamu

This series of works looks at the essence of pounamu and its connection to Te Ao Māori. I have taken elements of Toi Māori and started exploring them, as well as being informed by the kōhatu itself. Creating works which extend the notion of traditional Māori motifs, but still acknowledging the form and not altering it beyond recognition.

The light and life force is something I wished to encapsulate when displaying my work. The translucency and colour of pounamu under light is attributed to its value. The making and journey which this pounamu has taken was a concept I wished to acknowledge. Kōhatu has memory and history, and allowing it to journey with me while I create a piece helps to further inform it.

Energy and life-force has been central to my works, both inherently from the Kohatu and the additional life I have given it. My works to however touch on additional areas of the brief individually: rough & smooth, sharp & blunt, trade and exchange, extensions of ourselves.

The works also play with the materiality of pounamu and wire. It looks at the relationship between the two one a source native to Te Wai Pounamu the other a colonial introduction.

It is a delicate dualism both with the potential to over power the other. It could either be a harmonious combination or one where a battle of dominance ensues ‘Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou’. The wairua of the pieces are evident through the use of light and suspended arrangements.

Due to the nature of Pounamu and its significance, how I handled using it as a material was in the forefront of the project. My practice is acknowledged in the video work highlighting the kōhatu as I take it with me on my walks in lockdown.

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