te wai mokoia
Te Wai Mokoia considers ecology not only in relation to biology, but in relation to a wider understanding of ecology – that of the relationships between people, their whenua, and social and political frameworks. It is centred on a specific ecology, presented through a kōrero between a kuia and her whāngai daughter, both long term residents of Glen Innes. The health of Te Wai Mokoia cannot be separated from its people, a community that is fighting to stay in their homes.
Tāmaki is currently undergoing “regeneration”, a process through which thousands of state housing tenants are being affected. Many residents are refusing to be moved away from their homes – a collective resistance that is taking a huge toll on the community’s hauora.
The work considers all that extends from a house – childhood memories, the garden we bury in and grow from, and the environment surrounding it. For residents of Glen Innes, the estuary is a site of resource gathering, of learning and exploration, and a place to foster interconnectedness with nature. Te Wai Mokoia flows through this community as wairua tapu.
Still from Te Wai Mokoia (2016). HD video, 17m 30s.
Te Wai Mokoia was created for and the winner of Uxbridge's 10th Estuary Art Awards. The work showed in the subsequent exhibitions at Malcolm Smith Gallery and Fo Guang Shan Temple (Auckland). It is a unique single edition belonging to the Auckland Council.