Enjoy Contemporary Art Space
Ashleigh Taupaki’s sculptures grapple with memory and materiality in relation to personal histories and Māori ways of living. For Fire-lit kettle, Taupaki has developed a series of small sculptures experimenting with traditional forms, casting processes and the poetics of hard materials. Toro, piko (2020) encompasses a sheet of paper made from harakeke and natural dyes; plaster “tiles” with found objects; a handwoven wire kete; a hanging woven basket based on a waka huia; and a small vessel
made from coiled aluminium. These works explore how intuitive making and collecting might carry—or trace, or reconstruct—knowledge, histories and relationships. Taupaki’s sculptures hold things that she describes are “kept in mind:” pink spiral shells picked off the beach in Whiritoa; pupu shells from Waitangi; a piece of māta (obsidian); and plaster-set impressions of other found materials that connect to place, such as rocks gathered from the driveways of her current and family homes. Her sculptures present a series of moments within a process, one that is fuelled by conversations with elders and peers, as well as the potential of objects to tell stories and be transformed.