Harmony

2022

Kahurangi pounamu, 24ct. alluvial gold, Tākaka marble black velvet, gilded Italian laurel leaf frame
Venice Installation: 3.65mH x 5.25mW
Artwork frame dims: 225 x 225 x 38mm
Carved figures: 20 x 30 x 7mm

Series: Subject-Object

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 hold 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. Placed sylph-like on a bed of black velvet, the naked pronouns are hung on the wall. The composition reimagines the exoticising lens of early European artists in the Pacific Islands in a post-colonial feminist critique.

Facing the Grand Canal on the Venetian Palazzo wall, Harmony is encircled by laurel leaves, a Mediterranean native 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. Beyond 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 a macro-idea. In title, materials and form, Harmony draws from philosophies and thought traditions of harmony from across time, cultures and place. Among these is a new planetary-cosmic world view described by Ukrainian philosopher Dr Halyna Berehova which recentres the individual in anthropocosmic consciousness, expanding the philosophies of harmony and unity beyond the realm of humanity and the earthly biosphere.