Here I Am
Here I Am
'Here I Am', from my new collection, Inheritance. A journey of finding my way home, discovering family, exploring culture and understanding identity.
The Journey Home is not just a tale about discovering family and place of origin, but it is about the discovery of self.
Multiple layers of acrylic paint and iridescent inks on linen.
When Governor Grey visited New Zealand in 1901, a Māori woman took the tail feather of the huia bird from her hair and placed it into the hat band on the Duke's head. Upon returning to London, this stunning looking representation of social status became a fashion icon that helped to hunt the native bird to extinction. Everybody wants social status, no matter the cost.
To me, the huia feather in my paintings represent a part of my own identity. Like the extinct native bird, my life has been made redundant by the pressure of social status. I am still a secret, a misadventure kept hidden.
The huia feather is also a symbol of strength, because here I am. I now know who I am and where I have come from. This knowledge has given me a liberty to be who I have been created to be.