Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pūkeko
Sarah Hudson is a Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pūkeko artist, researcher and mum from Whakatāne, Aotearoa. As a founding member of Kauae Raro Research Collective, Sarah has spent the last three years promoting and protecting Māori earth pigment paint-making practices. She splits her time between home-educating her 8-year-old, implementing research projects for Kauae Raro, and creating works with her other art collaboration, Mataaho Collective.
Te Ara i Whiti
On YouTube, Dr Aroha Yates Smith shares a waiata she wrote about her research and connection with Parawhenuamea. It sings of whakapapa, genealogical geologies, about fresh water springing forth from mountainous elemental parents, bringing life, carrying rocks, extending the land. I’ve watched that video over and over – it was the inspiration for this sculpture. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1QGRWZeNNI
This work is an ode to Parawhenuamea, the Māori ancestor of earthly water. The orange forms referencing her ability to shift and allocate life-giving iron particles through the water, into the land, into the plants, into our bodies, into our blood. In te taiao, biogenic iron can be seen as bright orange sludge in streams, often accompanied with a blue iridescent sheen given off by iron-eating bacteria. The fine particles of iron oxides in water were used by tūpuna Māori to make paint. The heat-treated and processed paint was used as an art material, in ceremony, for personal adornment and as rongoā. The flag that flies as a part of this sculpture is painted with these iron oxides.
You can find “Parawhenuamea” at Te Ara i whiti from September 29 – October 8, 2023 at Kelvin and Marina Park.