Exploration ongoing; unexhibited.
Drawing on the ideal of lost wilderness, this exhibition explores the materiality of timber as an access point to the lost forests of New Zealand. The relevance of this project lies in how the New Zealand identity reconciles its colonial past with current environmental concerns.
Matai, Miro, Kauri, Rimu, Red Beech.
The names of native trees connotate both the untouched forests of the romantic imagination and the rich timbers that define New Zealand heritage homes and buildings. These heritage buildings we see and walk past are the physical remnants of these forests. They are our point of separation from the land, they are a symbol of colonialism, of the westernisation of maori culture and of environmental violence. This exhibition uses that colonial perspective to illuminate the significance of what was, and raises up the land as both precious and ephemeral.
Both architecture and colonialism are systems in which material is the passive victim of the greater whole. In these systems the natural world is broken down into functional forms and categories in the act of creating order from chaos. This is the process of felling, milling, and carpentry. This exhibition entails a reversal of this process: the timber is given agency through artistic intervention.