Such a lot has happened since the update. Not just for me but for the country and for the world. That mischievous messenger, Covid-19, has made itself felt in every nook and cranny of life. I am hoping that enough people will heed the warnings and begin to concentrate on the health of the planet, first and foremost, and most urgently. Covid-19 is surely a symptom of our disregard for Papatuanuku and our place within nature. We are not separate from nature and the more we allow that assumption, the less enhanced our lives become. Art is one way of blending in with the magnificence of this planet but even we artists can not just bury our heads in the sand.
After lockdown it became necessary for me to leave my studio. The tumbleweeds were all but blowing through Harbour Street and although New Zealanders began moving around again, not many were finding their way up to my cold studio. Further to this, winter made it more attractive to me to work from home. And to this end, I have produced a reasonable body of painting and written work.
Something lovely that happened during these strange times; I was among a handful of local artists featured in the Oamaru Mail. I have also had a poem published in the same newspaper. I really appreciate the exposure that is given to myself and other local artists, not only for getting our work out there, but also, because art uplifts the lives of people and if ever there was a time for this, surely it is now. What better than painting and poetry and stories, whether you are the artist, writer or the buyer. Art uplifts us.
Yesterday I took my painting, Na Hinemoana, to the office of Liam Wairepo, local Labour candidate. This is on loan up until the election, to reflect how Aotearoa is cradled and cherished within the arms and the heartbeat of the magnificent and now, beleaguered Pacific Ocean. This was my inspiration to paint this onto canvas. I am trusting that Jacinda’s warm and human leadership will continue with this same nurturing quality. All oceans have brought forth life and as Pacific people, we are now counting on this ocean to keep us separate from this pandemic, sadly sweeping the world. I have always thought that this painting, Na Hinemoana, should be hung in a place that honors Aotearoa and all we stand for when at our very best, for it reflects the magical quality and beauty of these unique islands, that we all share.
Mask up, stay safe and well. Go Team Aotearoa!
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