Wood for the Trees

Tanya Ruka, Derek March

Perched on the edge of the splendid Waitakere Ranges rainforests, Titirangi is an ideal spot to pause and reflect upon the significance of trees – and to celebrate the International Year of Forests.

Wood for the Trees brings together five divergent artists – incorporating sculpture, painting, history, mathematics, moving image, sound and photography – each with thought provoking visions of forests, and mankind’s use or misuse of them.

In Forest of Curves: Afloat John Lyall’s constructed arabesques from the history of mathematics pose as our historic and present day forests. Bush and agribusiness, nature and culture; these Cartesian curves reflect a European intellectual heritage washed up on our far-flung shore, and left to wreak havoc.

Michael Shepherd also reflects on history and the present in three searching portrayals of New Zealand’s lamentable treatment of native forests. With an acute awareness of the complexities of history and its many interpretations, Shepherd presents stark yet alluring, richly layered scenarios for us to contemplate.

Russell Moses’ Titirangi Suite captures the spirit of trees through a rich palette of hues and textures meticulously painted onto hundreds of aluminium lozenge shapes arranged in graceful geometric forms. His large wall sculptures pay homage to the kauri and pohutukawa and to the painter Colin McCahon, who was also inspired by the majestic kauri trees of Titirangi.

Tanya Ruka’s moving image and sound projection work, Tane Mahuta – God of the Forest combines light, paint, photography, the sound of birds and the haunting purerehua to create a meditative forest environment. And from her recent trip to Nepal, to attend the International Indigenous Film Festival, Ruka presents Gokarna Forest, a kaleidoscopic study of light and leaves.

From 26 August – 11 September in the Street Gallery, Derek March’s Landscape of Ghosts documents the haunting islands of remnant kahikatea scattered across dairy farms on the Hauraki Plains along with a video of water immersed mature kahikatea forest, conjuring a vision of the Ooahaouragee forest that so amazed Cook and his party in 1769.

Image: Derek March: Oparia Road 2006. – detail

25 August - 09 October 2011