Nina Oberg Humphries

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1990
Cook Islands Māori, Pasifika

Avaiki

  • 2021
  • Resin, polymer clay, tapa, weed mat, plastic bags, fala, plastic woven mat, fabric, dowel, fake grapes, feathers, plastic beads, shells
  • Gift of Karen Stevenson 2022
  • 2022/076

Nina Oberg Humphries is second-generation Aotearoa-born Cook Islander, and part of a new generation of artists exploring how art might evolve beyond colonial hierachies and priorities. As an artist in residence at the University of Canterbury in 2020, she examined items from the Oldman collection of Māori and Pacific artefacts, inviting members of Canterbury’s Pacific community to engage with the items and recall stories of living and growing up in Aotearoa. Through this experience, Oberg Humphries created an installation called Avaiki (A Place of Remembering), of which this large god stick was the centrepiece. One of many Polynesian names referring to ancestral or spiritual homelands, under Covid-19 restrictions Avaiki also became a place the artist longed for, but could not visit. This work emphasises her determination to maintain and strengthen her connection with its people and customs, despite these challenges.

Exhibition History