Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Maureen Lander Exhibition

AA
View Discussion
Maureen Lander and collaborators, Te Whanau Ranaga o Waitakere, 2018. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander and collaborators, Te Whanau Ranaga o Waitakere, 2018. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander and collaborators, Flat-Pack Whakapapa, 2017. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander and collaborators, Flat-Pack Whakapapa, 2017. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander, Flat-Pack Whakapapa as installed at Te Uru. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander, diy-DNA, 2017. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander, diy-DNA, 2017. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Maureen Lander, Kit-Set Whanaungatanga, 2017. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Though embedded in traditional skills (raranga) and a Māori perspective (mātauranga), Lander's wit introduces contemporary science, linking Māori genealogy (whakapapa) with other vertically descending works such as twisting DNA shaped ladders suspended from the ceiling, and functional utensils like flat-packs (carrying racks) that cascade down the wall and form a stack on the floor.

Titirangi

 

Maureen Lander
Flat-Pack Whakapapa

 

11 August -18 November 2018

This touring show organised by The Dowse Art Museum is on the top floor of Te Uru. Mainly a wall installation of contemporary Māori flax weaving, it has three components: works made by Maureen Lander herself; works she has made in collaboration with other weavers; and projects made by local children. Most of it shares the same format, a sort of starlike (or St. Andrew’s Cross), flat ‘open kete’ shape that is repeated and positioned in a grid on the wall. Within each unit the outer ‘limbs’ are braided (whiri) and compressed, and their branching strands lead into an inner diamond/square that has intricate tartanlike patterns (whakairo).

These are fascinating objects to look at and try and analyse morphologically. They remind you of fans, tennis rackets, or cabbage tree parts. Plus there are the negative shapes of the white wall peeking through.

Though embedded in traditional skills (raranga) and a Māori perspective (mātauranga), Lander’s wit introduces contemporary science, linking Māori genealogy (whakapapa) with other vertically descending works such as twisting DNA shaped ladders suspended from the ceiling, and functional utensils like flat-packs (carrying racks) that cascade down the wall and form a stack on the floor. We see here with both, the concept of ancestral lines (aho tuku iho) in an unusual, decidedly refreshing, form of linear sculpture—perhaps vaguely in the formal tradition of some of Para Matchitt’s wire sculptures.

Of the large wall works, I like the intricacy of the patterns in the gridded centres very much, especially how you can follow the trajectory of the delicate crisscrossing strands and figure out how they flow from the different peripheral corner braids into the central repetitive configurations.

There is one thing, however, that has gone wrong with this show’s presentation, and that it is the low white plinths placed on the polished concrete floors: dinky little platforms that support the bottom end of the DNA ladders and the pile of ‘stars’. They look dreadfully intrusive. The woven ‘star’ elements should be placed directly on the floor, and the flax ladders should be plugged into holes drilled into the concrete. The installation looks amateurish, and I’m surprised Lander—a seasoned artist of several decades experience—and the institution, allowed it. A case of details being important.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Richard Killeen, Alive in New Zealand, 1971, oil on hardboard, 420 x 570 mm

Oafish’ AND Urbane Killeen

IVAN ANTHONY GALLERY

Auckland

 

Richard Killeen
Forty-Eight Years In Between

 

5 June - 29 June 2019

JH
PĀNiA!, Honorary Consulate (Mobile Cardboard Detachment) (2019), cardboard, adhesive, masking tape, plastic toy lawn mower.  49 x 31.5 x 78 cm.  Photo: Arekahānara

Ambassadorial Preoccupations

MOKOPŌPAKI

Auckland

 

PᾹNiA!, Yllwbro, A.A.M. Bos
The Dutch Embassy


1 May - 22 June 2019

JH
Ron Left, Escalator 4, 2017, acrylic and digital photography on aluminium, 900 x 1600 mm

Ron Left’s Media Hybridity

ARTIS Gallery

Auckland

 

Ron Left
Shadow Series

 

11 June - 24 June, 2019

JH
Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Schroder’s Allegorical Installation

RM

Auckland

 

Mark Schroder
Goldkorp

 

22 May - 7 June 2019