Inside a gilded frame, a triptych of micro-figures align and punctuate a minimalist black square. Carved in precious stones and gold from the I-lands of Aotearoa, the ancient materials carry the wairua, spiritual essence, and ancestral connections to whenua, origins and land. Emerging out of the dark as first-forms and icons, the figures evoke spirits, ancestors, origins stories and otherworlds. Floating sylph-like on a bed of black velvet, the naked pronouns maintain an automony that dispels and reimagines an exoticising lens, such as that deployed by early European painters in the Pacific Islands, and in the colonising trade of people and gems.
Facing the Grand Canal on the Venetian Palazzo wall, Harmony is encircled by laurel leaves, a Mediterranean native tree with healing properties. Sized and positioned to encompass the human head, the gilded frame bestows on each viewer a laurel crown, a Classical symbol of victory and peace. Harmony draws from philosophies and thought traditions from across cultures, place and time. Among these is a new planetary-cosmic world view described by Ukrainian philosopher Dr Halyna Berehova who recentres the individual in anthropocosmic consciousness, expanding the philosophies of harmony and unity beyond the realm of humanity to the earthly biosphere.
Outside the frame, the precious miniature fits in the palm of a child's hand. Free and united, the tiny I-columns are micro-foundations for macro-ideas.