Aroha

2017

Indian black granite
200mm H x 300mm Dia. (ed.20, 1 A/P)

Series: X-figure

A symbol of identity used by indigenous peoples worldwide to sign treaties written in foreign languages, the x-mark has set the course of history. On the 1840 New Zealand/Aotearoa treaty Te Tiriti o Waitangi between colonising Europeans and indigenous Maori, these Rangatira (Maori chiefs) signatures – one black line crossing another – convey a presence, power and mana that transcends material worlds. Abstracted in ink-black stone, Aroha renders the baseline axis (x) on a young nation's geopolitical map: a deal undercut by mixed motives but driven by love for people and land. Aroha, meaning love in Maori, is cut from an ancient stone. Once molten lava from the Earth's core, the stone infuses the symbol x with gravity, durability and weight. Both mathematical and sensual, Aroha adds up and mutliples to express the exponential power of love.