My work predominately focused furthering our understanding of ourselves as New Zealanders, our relationship with nature, to each other and the rest of the world.
Straddling the worlds of art and design, my practice-led research employs digital media, photography, video and spacial design. My work often involves redefining the existing relationship between the audience and subject to document, educate or change option. I think of myself as primarily being a designer that employs art as tool to communicate.
Although I am not of Māori decent I find my philosophy and approach can be expressed in my own interpretation of three key Māori concepts:
Whakapapa: Often described as genealogy or description of social relationship. But this is a simplistic view of whakapapa. It describes the interdependent layers of life and an understanding of intergenerational impact. For me photography and video plays a key role in understanding and documenting our place within these layers.
Mauri: an energy which binds and animates all things in the physical world. With mauri, mana can flow between people and/or objects. I see this demonstrated in the relationships within groups/community and the physical legacy left behind in object and place. The provence of objects, especially tools and materials, is a regular feature in my work.
Kaitiakitanga: means guardianship and protection. It is a way of managing the environment, based on the Māori world view. A kaitiaki is a guardian. In relation to whakapapa we individually collectively have a responsibility maintain a sustainable relationship with nature for future layers. Fundamental to guardianship is awareness and understanding hence my focus on education, scientific and environmental advocacy.