I am an artist who works across an interdisciplinary range of media. I have aspirations of working with museums and art galleries, across Aotearoa, amongst people and objects who sit in the difficult places of history and memory that help us live better lives by revealing their stories and sharing their knowledges.
I gained a practice-led Ph.D. from AUT University in 2019, researching Memory Markers in the Landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am interested in ideas of the present/absent texts within memorials or ‘memory markers’ in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the motifs that represent a particular kind of meaning making narrative. My practice draws reference to poetry and language, the naming of things, as well as memorials and messages observing the reverence of death.
Memory markers is a phrase I conceived of to describe the range of memorials and holders of memory that are situated within the landscape that attempt either personally or publicly hold, record, and impart memory to the future. These places, sites or markers are always intentional and what could be described as passive. For example, a school or a marae are ‘active’ memory markers, while they too hold memory, they are in a state of constant flux and movement, making new memories or reviving old histories. Passive memory markers are meant to mark time and we move past them. Time is perhaps the most elusive or disquieting element in my work.
I continue to produce practice-led research with particular attention to history and presence as well as decolonial methods of a settler Pākehā practitioner, finding comfort or at least atonement by way of exile. Since graduating I have taken a greater interest in autoethnographic fieldwork and recorded intuition by way of the flâneur or wanderer. My practice aims to expand ways of recording and documenting silences in relationship to the environment and cultural narratives and knowledges. I repeat the expanded term knowledges here as a way to acknowledge different ways of knowing by different peoples and cultures.
There is a large text based presence in my work that is conceived slowly and involves ruthless editing, discarding, and rewriting; the romance of a writer/poet is a flawed character and one that needs to be subjugated to fantasy worlds of ease.
The poetry within these works does not serve to describe the visual elements but to illuminate a personal philosophy or considerations. The work can be sad, frustrated, joyful and painful all at once. I’m attempting to mirror our lived experience and honour the vast spectrum of a life well lived.