Artwork Description / Detail
‘The wairua o te whenua (spiritual essence of the land) and mauri (living life force) are both inherent in the concept of whenua. the wairua of the land is connected to whakapapa, an invisible presence that persists through time and within the tangata whenua (people of the land) and their duration of living on the whenua.
The landscape comprises more than what is physically observed. Visual elements represented by the landscape are composed not only of what lies before our eyes, but what lies within our hearts and minds. Although un-seen, my tupuna exist and are present, felt and are a part of the spirit of the land that my genealogical whakapapa ties connect me to.
As well as personal memory, ancestral history of the land and place – the occupation of my tupuna. This is handed down through oral histories, storytelling of events that happened, where things occurred. This information informs my knowledge of sites that have historical and cultural importance. This brings an awareness of specific areas of the land that are sacred and certain places or areas that carry associations with people from the past, for example where the old kumara pits were or the places in the dunes where the rubbish and discarded food shells were stored. This knowledge influcens the way I read the landscape by recognising features like trenches, knolls, remnants of the past, traces of existence and habitation. Physical visible marks in the environment that have that ancestral attachment.
Through my ancestral attachment and close personal relationship to this land I have an awareness, empathy and sensibility for the presence of my tupuna/ancestors through my connection to the whenua/land of Pakiri – Ngati Manuhiri.’