This exhibition presents a series of landscape paintings made by Cora-Allan Wickliffe during her residency at Parehuia, which sits at number 67 Otītori Bay Road – a short but steep descent from Te Uru, toward the waters of the Manukau Harbour. Using paints harvested and processed from the local Waitākere whenua, the images are intimate studies of the land and a living archive of it, as well as visual journals of the artist’s stay.
Just as she gathered raw pigments, Wickliffe also gathered views of the landscape, and of objects, materials and her traditional tools – all with care, and a mind to understanding the subtleties of the whenua on which the residency was based. From pinks and reds to light greys, Wickliffe experimented with the whenua’s palette, applying these to different surfaces, including hand-beaten Hiapo cloth customary to Niue.
Many of these views were gathered and recorded from the Manukau Harbour, where Wickliffe spent time on a rowboat named after her late grandfather, ‘Koro’. Launching from Otītori Bay, the sea became an extended studio; using sea water as a base for her watercolour pigments, she documented the changing tides and weather patterns of her voyages in sketchbooks. Like fishing diaries, minute variations to tone and line in the drawings reflect these fluctuations.
These works mark a new chapter in Wickliffe’s practice that creates a space in which her Niuean and Māori whakapapa – and two unique bodies of indigenous knowledge – can meet and be shared with others, not least with her small whanau, who helped to harvest, process and record the pigments used in these works.
26 February – 5 June 2022