Taa Hei: Printed Neck Ornaments | Alexis Neal
“When I think about Te moana nui a kiwa and Tangaroa our guardian of the sea, I imagine an underwater world of navigating mammals travelling from land to land by sea. My ancestors all arrived by waka / boat with a whaling history married into my whakapapa from the coastline of Picton and Waikawa. Across the wider Pacific the use of whale bone and tooth has culturally been used as a material in personal adornment, signifying chiefly status of mana and tangata whenua, our people. For me it talks about cultural diversity and our relationship to our land and sea. ‘It was an obvious choice to depict a whale tooth held by seaweed as a necklace as if to carry our ancestors from shore to shore’.
These new prints are an extension of my ‘Ka mua ka muri’ series; looking back to move forward, using upcycled plates, reshaping them to create new forms and new narratives. The shaping of Taonga / artefacts, personal adornment and weaponry has been a long-standing interest. The influence of the natural world seems obvious, not just in the materials used for such items, but in the bird like forms that have inspired weaponry and tools shaped for a purpose. “The design and function are skilfully blended, with the suspension hole doubling as the eye of the bird”. Icon nga taonga, Te Papa press 2004-5. Elements of blood red adorn the work as a reference to Hei tiki, in human form. Artefacts talk about the hand of the maker, their tribal connections, and their personal story, leaving their mark behind. Artefacts hold wairua, a sense of identity, act as a portal into our past, a piece of history that tells us a story, who might have created it and where did its journey begin, a taonga / treasure, handed down to who?
The hand of the artist is evident, handmade editioned pulled prints, leaving my signature mark behind”.
Limited Edition of 15
Printed upon - Hahnemuhle Paper
UNFRAMED - Width - 300mm x Height - 400mm
FRAMED - Width - 400mm x Height - 500mm
Please Note - This print has been framed with a near-matching backing board - NOT with a white backing board as displayed. The in-situ mock up is an example of visual representation within an environment and does not truly reflect the size of the framed prints. Please refer to the measurements above for the exact size of this unframed print.
Please allow up to 10 working days for us to organise framing.
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