This exhibition, the first for the artist in Whakatū Nelson, explores time and place and attempts to tap into a universal connection of memory and location.
This is undoubtedly a show at home in New Zealand. While these memories could be shared beyond our shores, there is a particular Aotearoa feel to their sentiment and imagery that locate them firmly in this whenua and on these islands. These short phrases or three-word stories hold more potency in them than what first appears. Each holds a world of experience or movement, growth, or history. They are meant to provoke further reading and contemplation as to how they are connected to us, the viewer or the world around us.
These works provide more questions than answers as is the usual outcome of Elliot’s practice. His poetry and painting sit in the liminal spaces of abstraction towards a kind of solid meditation. Each painting is designed to linger in your mind or echo in your memory and work slowly in a process of contemplation and reflection. Each work captures moments in time that are often fleeting or mundane yet in retrospect are often the true makers of passing time. These are collective concepts that weave us together, distinct yet similar in our collective journeys through the world.
Dr Elliot Glenn Punahau Collins
Ph.D. Visual Art
I am an artist who works across an interdisciplinary range of media. I have a desire to work in museums and art galleries, across Aotearoa, amongst people and objects who sit in the difficult places of history and memory that help us live better lives by revealing their stories and sharing their wisdom.
I gained a practice-led Ph.D. from AUT University in 2019, researching Memory Markers in the Landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am interested in ideas of the present/absent texts within memorials or ‘memory markers’ in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the motifs that represent a particular kind of identity-forming narrative. My practice draws reference to poetry, language, naming, and memorials towards death.
Since graduating I have taken a greater interest in autoethnographic fieldwork and recorded intuition by way of the flâneur or wanderer. My practice aims to expand ways of recording and documenting silences in relationship to the environment and cultural narratives.
I currently live in Waitara in North Taranaki with my wife and our dog on the whenua of Te Atiawa and continue to show nationally in a range of public and private galleries. I currently work as an academic staff member at Te Pūkenga - Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki.
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