Mary Spacapan

Mary Spacapan

  • Artist’s Statement

    In her ongoing exploration of the animated nature of the whenua, Mary Spacapan’s new work seeks to understand mark making as a visual expression of sound. Sound, transports energy from one location to another, without transporting matter. Since sound waves carry a tiny negative mass, when in the presence of a gravitational field their trajectory bends upwards. With her ear to the ground, postured in the way of her tūpuna, ancestral wisdom hums forth a heartbeat from the whenua. In reflection of mutuality, fellow indigenous North American, Robin Wall Kimmerer in Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, writes, ‘Isn’t this the way we love, the way love propels our own unfolding? We are shaped by our affinity for love, expanded by its presence and shrunken by its lack.’

  • Biography

    Born to US-Canadian [Kanienʼkehá꞉ka, Mohawk] parents, Mary first immigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand when she was six years old. She returned to the United States with her family, where she later completed a BFA from Columbia University, Chicago. Later migrating to California — and finally home to Aotearoa.
    E mihi ana ia ki ngā mana whenua. Mary believes it right to acknowledge her place in Aotearoa is upheld by her commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi and sustained through the friendship of many.
    Sheltered by maunga Taranaki, Mary operates alongside local and national peacemakers around matters of reconciliation. Her work carefully considers the role and responsibility of the ‘witness,’ and explores what it means to invoke memory, serve, and tend to the dynamic nature of the whenua, both land and body, with generational vision.

  • Website

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