Aotearoa New Zealand is part of a submerged Pacific continent, which broke away from the Gondwana supercontinent millions of years ago to create two major islands – Te Ika a Māui / the North Island and Te Waipounamu / the South Island.
Our dramatic landscape was formed by violent volcanic eruption and uplift. The diverse peoples who have made their home here over the past 800 years have adapted to living on volatile ground.
In Māori culture, there is a spiritual connection between tāngata (people) and whenua (the land). In Aotearoa, artists have often seen the landscape as a source of identity and inspiration; a place on which to reflect and project their imagination. These works invite us to think about what the land means to its people, and how artists record the traces of people’s movement through it.
Ko Niu Tīreni te rae o te tipua i motu i te paparahi o Gondwana e hia kē nei ngā tau i mua, koia i hua mai ai ngā motu matua – ko Te Ika me Te Waka a Māui. I āhua mai ai te hanga o te whenua i te ahi tipua. Ka mutu, i āhua mai hoki te hanga o te tangata i te hanga o te whenua.
Hei tā te Māori, he hononga tāngaengae tō te tangata ki te whenua. Ki Niu Tīreni nei, ka noho ko te whenua hei take tuakiri mō te tangata, hei puna mō ōna whakaaro. Ka kitea ki tēnei taiwhanga o te whare nei he toi e whakawhāiti ana i te whakaaro o te tangata ki te whenua me ngā nekenekehanga a ngā iwi i roto i ngā tau.