Te Awanui is one of the earliest names given to the Tauranga area. Growing up in Mount Maunganui I thought it was a quiet, tranquil, if slightly sedate tourist destination. History reveals it to be a place of drama, treachery, war, peace, enchantment and treasure.
The ten works presented here delve into the history and cultural significance of the geography of Tauranga, utilising traditional Maori motifs as well as addressing European and colonial traditions of landscape painting.
The paintings continue my recent explorations into ideas of craft, decoration and sacredness. With these paintings, geometric tukutuku structures are overlaid with translucent landscape images to explore the harmonics of pattern, as well as cross-cultural ideas of depiction, visuality and narrative. Each painting references a specific event or significant era in Tauranga’s history, with tukutuku patterns chosen or invented for their symbolism or graphic appropriateness.
These works where exhibited at Fisher Brown Gallery, 57 9th Avenue, Tauranga, from the 6th to the 20th of March 2010.