- Gifted by Olivia Spencer Bower, 1979
- 159 x 342mm
In 1845, Charles Meryon, a young French naval officer and artist aboard the corvette Rhin, spent sixteen days at Uvea / Wallis and Futuna – an island group between Fiji and Tokelau. When he made this etching nearly twenty years later, he recalled details of this visit: “Some natives, most of their bodies submerged, descend into the sea, holding open baskets [...] formed of branches or fronds of coconut palms, held together at the bottom, to receive the fish that were taken in and imprisoned there, while others chase it in front of them.” On the horizon can be seen both an ocean going va’a and the Rhin. In the right corner, underneath the little island, one can distinguish a small canoe of a form peculiar to these islands. Meryon spent over three years in Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa the Pacific Ocean from 1843, and for most of that time was stationed in Akaroa.
(Ship Nails and Tail Feathers, 10 June – 22 October 2023)