Zealandia

Government House NZ

Sited in the volcanic landscape and constitutional setting of Government House Auckland, Zealandia resonates in time and place. Here on the flanks of Mount Eden / Maungawhau, the river of grain in the ancient stone marks the edge of the ancestral mountain's lava flow. Carved from a unique rock estimated 100 million years old, the intersecting planes mimic the clashing tectonic plates that formed the newly discovered 8th continent, Zealandia. Also a female icon in C19th New Zealand heraldry and statuary, Zealandia was the daughter of Brittania, a tool of colonisation and an emblem of governance.

In form and geometry, the abstract X-figure asserts new ratios, reinventing the 'perfect proportions' of Leonardo Da Vinci's Renaissance Vitruvian Man. Reflecting the median proportions of women from every Continent, Zealandia carves a new genetic blueprint – proposing diversity as the ideal form. Streaked with minerals and crystals, the ancient stone shimmers, tracking the DNA of this land. Like a mythical figure, predating human migration to Aotearoa, it evokes Māori creation stories with arms reaching up to Ranginui, the sky-father, and feet grounded in Papatūānuku, mother Earth.