Areta Wilkinson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1969
Ngāi Tahu, Māori

Whakapapa II

  • 2018
  • Ōtakou and Te Tai Poutini 24 carat gold, fine silver, sterling silver
  • Purchased 2021
  • 300 x 255 x 30mm
  • 2021/066.1-21

Areta Wilkinson’s work expresses concepts of Ngāi Tahu whakapapa, genealogy and relationships, and mahinga kai, customary sites of natural resources and cultural production. Like her ancestors before her, Wilkinson utilises available resources in her making, from local river stones, clays, pigments and gold to contemporary resources like 3D prints of archaic artefacts. Layering past and present, she acknowledges Ngāi Tahu visual culture and histories through a contemporary art conversation. Wilkinson made Whakapapa II remembering Maerewhenua and Takiroa – limestone rock shelters that feature drawings made with charcoal and kōkōwai red ochre and created from the thirteenth century onwards. Wilkinson’s work is made from a range of precious materials and recalls how these drawings sit alongside each other through the placement of the individual objects, the positive and the negative elements carrying cultural – as well as aesthetic – ideas and narratives.

(Die Cuts and Derivations, 11 March – 2 July 2023)

Exhibition History