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April 16 - May 26
Hannah Leigh Rennie Cockfield
16 April – 26 May 2019
Boardroom and Little Gallery, The Pah Homestead
The Opening Night is on 15 April, 6pm
This exhibition is supported by the James Wallace Trust and Jan Warburton Charitable Trust and is in association with the Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic. Hannah Cockfield is the first recipient of the James Wallace & Jan Warburton Graduate Exhibition Scholarship 2017.
One of the greatest hurdles for any fine arts graduate embarking on a career as a professional artist is to secure opportunities to exhibit in Auckland and/or to be represented by an Auckland commercial gallery. This Scholarship provides selected graduating students with an opportunity to exhibit at the prestigious Pah Homestead in Auckland, including a targeted introduction to the Auckland art market.
My name is Hannah Leigh Rennie Cockfield. I am an emerging artist born in Christchurch, raised on the West Coast, and currently living in Dunedin, alumni of the Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic. Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa rāua ko Ati-Hau-Nui-A-Papa toku iwi. I am Māori, from my whanau in the North near Whanganui; I am Pakeha, from my whanau who migrated from England.
Like many other Kiwis my cultural identity exists between two worlds of Māoritanga and Westernization, of tradition and modernity, and of custom and innovation. My practice is born of a profound curiosity with the grey-area of our collective whakapapa, and the desire to reconnect to sleeping roots tied to our biological history.
More than the definitive recital of ancestry, whakapapa centres people within a wider context and a shared opportunity to create links with common ancestors, spaces, places, and people. The imagined spaces in Club Tumeke celebrate collective community, envisioning an amalgamation of Māori and Pakeha knowledge and experience reflected onto the land which is culturally both and neither: Aotearoa New Zealand. In fragments of colours against vibrant dimensions of layered spaces and intertwined with the buzzing rhythm of surrounding line and pattern, the landscape emerges.
These landscapes tell a story of whānau and the connectedness being a part of a community brings: realising potential relationships through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. Just as seawater fills and binds grains of sand, these paintings are informed not solely by the depicted objects; but by balance, the ‘flow’ of the figure and space, and of each painting as part of a greater whole. Modernizing the principles of traditional whakairo with rhythmic schisms and syntheses of space and form, personal imaginative expression narrates the workings of communities, the invisible strings which tie us together, within a hive of activity, harmony, and synchrony in the systems of the surface. Balancing of contemporary painting frameworks with homage to traditional moko, whakairo, and kowhaiwhai alternates the classical landscape and gives life to new perspectives, striving to honour the foundational relationships of people with their environments as an enduring part of heritage. Love of community is a catalyst which keeps us strong within our belonging, united by sharing who we are, and building bridges for a better tomorrow. Club Tumeke boldly and passionately shares with you the beating heart of arohanui felt throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
Credit, key image: Hannah Cockfield, Mawheraiti – Mahferaheetee, 2018,Acrylic paint on linen.