Fiona Pardington

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961
Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Māori, Clan Cameron, Scottish


  • 2019
  • Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
  • Purchased 2019
  • 1680 x 1320mm
  • 2019/055

The object at the centre of this work tells a story of displacement and translation. Fiona Pardington came across it in London’s Wellcome Collection, as one of several similar objects with uncertain and complicated histories. It resembles a heitiki, the spiritually significant Māori pounamu (greenstone) pendant traditionally worn close to the heart, but there’s something not quite right about it. It is likely to have been produced in the late nineteenth century, possibly by a Pākehā or German maker, for the keen international market that had developed for curios from the Pacific. Pardington reclaims this appropriated object, heightening its strangeness by letting it shimmer in a space of doubt and possibility.

(Te Wheke, 2020)

Exhibition History