White I. (Whakaari)


rabbit skin size, acrylic, cotton, linen
385H x 381W x 40mmD

Series: The Allegory

An abbreviated and punctuated white 'I' occupies the central space of a square. In composition and title, the figure calls up the active volcano White Island (Whakaari), an active volcano in Aotearoa NZ, off the coast of the Bay of Plenty. This smouldering landform is the central character in a Māori legend about a love triangle with the maunga/mountains Tarawera and Pūtauaki, and the subject of the artist's first solo exhibition, Moving Mountains.  Here, the mythical self-centred Whakaari, who calls her lover to sea in a plume of white steam, is cut and stitched in place, a hand-lashed 'sail' floating in a linen field.