Lonnie Hutchinson - sista 7
Stephanie Oberg reads her poem Blackbird, written in response to Lonnie Hutchinson's exhibition of the same name, held at the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, in 2015.
Related reading: Ata wairere
From her studio window in the port town of Ōhinehou / Lyttelton, Lonnie Hutchinson could see the volcanic range commonly known as the Seven Sisters running along the back of Ōhinetahi / Governors Bay. A pivotal work in the artist’s career, Sista7 celebrates this evening vista and the sense of belonging she felt nestled in the rohe (territory) of Ngāti Wheke, the hapū (subtribe) based at nearby Rāpaki. The spiritual and cultural values of Hutchinson’s dual Samoan and Ngāi Tahu heritage are firmly embedded in her practice. Hand-cut in black builder’s paper, positive and negative elements recall the fundamentals of Polynesian and Māori design. The rhythm of folds and the elegant shadows cast by the motifs inspire a natural sense of wonder.
(Te Wheke, 2020)
The dimensions given here are for one of this work's seven individual parts. The spacing between each part, and thus the width of the entire work, can vary. In this image from the exhibition Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu (10 May – 24 August 2003), the parts are installed 300mm apart.
Lara Strongman: Why did you call this work Hoa Kōhine (Girlfriend)?
Lonnie Hutchinson: The work is very feminine in nature. Because it’s the 125 year celebration of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa this year, I wanted to refer to women, and to the friendship between women. “Girlfriend” is what women friends call each other, in an affectionate sort of way. Hey girlfriend! And in a text we’ll use gf.
Contemporary works that create subtle openings for connection and contemplation.
This DVD is one of an edition of five. The projection is of water (Lake Taupo, near the mouth of the Hinemaia River) It has been turned onto its side to create an enigmatic image suggesting ghostly figures. The soundtrack is a mixture of Gregorian chanting and sacred music by the 16th century Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi.