Areta Wilkinson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1969
Ngāi Tahu, Māori

Whakapapa VI

  • 2019
  • Kōkōwai (red ochre), coal, flax baling twine
  • Gift of the artist, 2021
  • 2021/088.a-s

Areta Wilkinson’s art is grounded in the values of te ao Māori and shaped by long-held collective mātauranga (knowledge). The kōkōwai and coal that form this sculpture came from the same whenua of Te Waipounamu and connect the artist to the first mark-makers on this island, including her Ngāi Tahu tupuna (ancestors).

Her decision to hang these objects from flax cords echoes the way that tools were worn around the neck to allow for easy transportation from place to place within Aotearoa and beyond. Areta then swung the pendants so they left traces on the wall, opening up a fresh conversation between past and present.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History