Harmony

2022

Kahurangi pounamu, 24ct. alluvial gold, Tākaka marble black velvet, gilded Italian laurel leaf frame
Frame: 225 mm x 225mm x 38mm
Venice Installation: 3.65mH x 5.25mW

Series: Subject-Object

Inside a gilded frame, three I-figures draw the eye and pierce a minimalist black square. Carved in precious stones and gold from the Pacific nation of Aotearoa, the ancient materials, formed through the Earth’s evolution, hold a wairua (spiritual essence) and ancestral connections to whenua (origins/land). Viewed as first-forms or icons emerging out of a deep black field, the figures conjure spirits or ancestors from origins stories or deep space. Slyphlike and on a bed of black velvet, the naked pronouns reimagine the exotic lens of early European male painters in a post-colonial feminist critique.

The Italian frame is encircled by gold laurel leaves - a classical symbol of peace. Sized and positioned to encompass the human head, Harmony bestows on each viewer the laurel crown worn in ancient times to signify victory and peace. Outside the frame and the black square, 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 composition, scale, materials and title, Harmony engages contemporary philosophies of harmony, drawing from thought traditions spanning time, cultures and place. The sculpture explores an anthropocosmic consciousness described by Ukrainian philosopher Dr Halyna Berehova, where future philosophies of harmony and unity will extend beyond humanity and the earthly biosphere to shape a new, planetary-cosmic world view.