Creating a sense of hope


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Ryan Williams


Not specified


South Otago High School




Tangata Whenuatanga


Acrylic paint on card


A sense of hope for a better future - better guardianship (kaitiakitanga) over the land is important in the creation of this work. I used appropriation taking gallery space and incorporating it within a different context - exploring indoor vs outdoor space (gallery space along with water/sky). This reads as a “false” sense of hope/reality and the superficial nature of our modern world. This also acts as a reflection on period (Renaissance time period of art), looking at historical gallery space, frames and curtain: reflecting on my ancestors and their culture/heritage. I tried to convey this as a different form of looking at “ancestral inheritance” - the effect my ancestors have on me and the land and their lack of guardianship (kaitiakitanga). The desecration they caused to my tūrangawaewae was an important theme of this work. I used the framed work including my tūrangawaewae as a vessel to showcase the past (as such framed). The use of the whakataukī “Ko au te whenua, ko te whenua ko au” also symbolises this. The colonial ship (that my ancestors came to New Zealand on), the Orkney Isles map (the location in Scotland where my ancestors came from), the heart (a symbol of the connections to our blood, our ancestors and ancestral inheritance) and Hone Tūhawaiki (an influential Ngāi Tahu chief) all help solidify and act as symbolism within this work creating more depth and greater realisation of the ideas. I am layered onto the work in a Māori woven cloak signifying my present self and my continued exploration into mātauranga Māori. This version of myself is reflecting/looking towards (back at) the past version of my 7 year old self, framed to the right of work symbolising the connections between past and present. The clouds/sky juxtaposed within the top of the work as well as the water (of Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau - my tūrangawaewae) and waka act as a sense of hope in this false reality signifying our connections to Māori culture and hope for better in future. The pathway (through which the waka is going and where the painted outlines of my tūrangawaewae follow the walls) signifies the path into the future and where to next - trying to restore my tūrangawaewae to its “once thriving self”. Overall this work is a symbolic representation of the actions of my ancestors and what we can do to fix this, creating a sense of hope for the future in improved positive race relations and guardianship over the land. This is part of my work for the NCEA Level 1 Visual Art Mini Pilot.

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