Wilkinson made her name as a jeweller but her practise has always included sculptural elements. More recently she has specialised in creating environments and particular settings for her work including travelling cases and bell jars.
In this new exhibition, Wilkinson has imagined and made a contemporary and personal waka huia — a customary receptacle for everyday and special objects that have become tapu by their close association with their wearer.
She explains, “Waka Huia is a treasure trove of precious jewellery objects and narrative. The personal adornments and stories are anchored in everyday life and the enchantments of a modern existence. Some stories are those told by my great great grandfather and respected rangatira Teone Taare Tikao, to South Canterbury historian Herries Beattie, and they can be heard in the gallery space. One of the most important roles of jewellery is to keep narratives, and also to act as talismans through their representative power and magic. The stories of Waka Huia are not singular pronouncements but complex and sometimes conflicting narratives that tell us more about ourselves through their retelling and representation.”
What: Waka Huia - Exhibition of Jewellery by Areta Wilkinson
Where: The Mary Newton Gallery, 150 Vivian Street, Wellington
When: Opens Wednesday 24 June. Exhibition runs until 18 July.
Gallery opening hours:
If you would like to find out more visit http://www.marynewtongallery.com