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Beyond your tadpole stage // your spinal cord dissolves

Archived Event
Beyond your tadpole stage // your spinal cord dissolves

Past Event

Louie Zalk-Neale
Performance
Beyond your tadpole s...

ouie Zalk-Neale was draped with kawe ~ woven tī kōuka carrying straps ~ and performed to activate a sculptural blue plastic barrel. Seven people formed a circle to direct their focus along radiating tendrils to the central moana-filled vessel.

Louie Zalk-Neale
“When you’re amongst the biodiversity of forests & beaches, you’re part of an ecological system based in fluidity and adaptability ~ that’s whakapapa. “
Louie Zalk-Neale

Hosted by PAWA

Beyond your tadpole s...

About Event

2023
Performance

Beyond your tadpole stage // your spinal cord dissolves

“Beyond Your Tadpole Stage // Your Spinal Cord Dissolves,” performed by Louie Zalk-Neale, was an activation of a sculptural taonga, a blue plastic barrel, which became the focal point for participants to direct their attention along radiating tendrils towards the central moana-filled vessel. This intricate piece was intertwined with kawe (strapping) made from tī kōuka (cabbage tree leaves), holding seven kōhatu (rocks) bound to each taura (rope). The rocks, including pounamu (jade and serpentine), ōnewa (graywacke), kōkawa (andesite), tokauku (shale), and takawai (quartz), were sourced from Kā Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps) and Taranaki. The durable tī kōuka fibre, traditionally used for fishing lines and waka bindings, was employed to bind carved pungapunga (pumice stones) floating inside the barrel, resembling kāeo sea tulips.

The barrel and its ‘technical jewellery’ were crafted by Adam Ben-Dror (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Tangata Tiriti), known for repurposing human-generated scraps and e-waste into new forms. Part of the sculpture included a carved pounamu mauri stone named Tuāhine Pouhanga (sisters of creation), contributed by Neke Moa (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Ahuriri, Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), an artist who emphasizes whakapapa and connection through patterns and forms from atua stories.

Special acknowledgments to Dr Tāwhanga Nopera, Paula Conroy, Yuval Zalk-Neale, Ann Shelton, Aroha Jensen, Whiro Walker, and Gus Fisher Gallery for their support in creating this work.

Click below to view the opening night and gallery

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Photography by Robyn Jordaan

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