A modern Eve carved in ancient stone, The Snake Charmer occupied the new waterfront Sculpture Space at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair. Encircled by a Rongoā Māori garden, the totemic form connects to ancestors and spirits, and brings a healing dimension in a time of uncertainty and change. The abstract figure and native planting reconceptualise Henri Rousseau’s 1907 painting of the same name, transforming his exotic chanteuse into a minimalist text in a real Pacific idyll. An independent spirit, the Charmer articulates sound through form. Like a siren or guardian, it watches over land and sea, and asserts a humanity that includes and reflects every-one.
'At the Aotearoa Art Fair, The Snake Charmer raises the bar and acts as a reminder about the magnetic pull and attraction of a work of art as an object and its potency for mystery and imagination. The Snake Charmer is absolutely the right work of art to remind us about the attraction of an art object as representative of a great idea to be uncovered/discovered and that this is the pull/attraction of the visitor numbers and the enthusiasm for attending the Art Fair': Dr Warren Feeney, NZ Art Historian and Editor, Art Beat