Ruth Watson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1962

Take heart

  • Purchased, 1999
  • Chocolate wrapping paper and pins
  • 2035 x 2129 x 115mm
  • 99/92
  • 1999

Ruth Watson’s heart-shaped map of the world is centred on the South Pole rather than the North, subverting the Eurocentric bias that usually operates in depictions of the globe. Known as a ‘cordiform projection’, the heart-shaped map has been drawn since about 1500 and is usually associated with ideas of harmony and peace across the globe. Watson’s map is made with gold chocolate wrappers – chocolate is a traditional gift of love, but was also a colonial plantation crop. Take Heart is a critique of the colonial project and an exhortation to see the world differently.

(Te Wheke, 2020)

earlier labels about this work
  • Ape To Zip: Adventures in Alphabet Art, 13 May 2005 – 8 October 2006

    In the exhibition Ape to Zip this work was used for the letter M and was displayed with the following label:

    MAP This giant gold heart is also an upside-down map of the world, with New Zealand at the top! It has all been made from chocolate wrapping paper. Who thinks the artist likes chocolate? And here's history: a heart-shaped world map was first thought of exactly 500 years ago by a really inventive man called Johann Werner.