Tangaroa / Water


Tangaroa / Water

"Āniwaniwa is collection of wakahuia with internal projections and sound components suspended from the ceiling. A wakahuia is a treasure box, a vessel containing precious things. These wakahuia are large carved sculptures holding memories of a place now submerged under water.

In the local context, this work highlights the submerged Waikato village of Horahora and uses flooding and immersion as a metaphor for cultural loss with specific reference to local iwi (people indigenous to the region).

It is a theme that has wide relevance. In an international context, Āniwaniwa is capable of taking on new, universal significance reflecting upon rising sea levels and global warming. Participation at the Biennale of Venice, a slowly sinking city, provides an ideal forum for the watery nature of this work.

Āniwaniwa as a Māori place name is also evocative of the blackness of deep water, storm clouds, a state of bewilderment, a sense of disorientation, and confusion as one is tossed beneath the waters. It can also refer to a rainbow, a symbol of hope. Defining identity in terms of water rather than land has implications for the entire Pacific."

Extracted from the Āniwaniwa catalogue, 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (PDF file, 20 pages, 785KB)

Read more and watch a compilation of videos played in the installation

Dimensions variable
Collaboration with Rachael Rakena