SCANZ2013: Potentiality

It has been nearly a week since we left New Plymouth and the hub of SCANZ2013. Many conversations, thoughts and moments are now echoing, in particular the notion of ‘Te kore” the space of nothingness wherein lies potential, presented to us by Te Huirangi in one of the workshops.

The residency has presented many questions for me not only regarding how I approach my creative practice as an artist, writer and researcher, but how I can ultimately mesh my separate identities as writer/artist with my work in government with

One of the big questions is about how I can be more aware and act in a more sustainable way, in terms of how I live, where I live and what I consume. Firstly, I am thinking that I need to be more remotely connected, meaning that I should where possible create and distribute work that does not require huge amounts of CO2 emissions. That is a tough call as I love travel and my eyes yearn for new landscapes to experience. Perhaps one of the answers is to work more with augmented media and play with spaces in a virtual context.

Secondly, I need to be more engaged in my local environment. Although I have lived in Canberra for nearly 12 years, a part of me has never accepted this place as my home and I have not engaged with my local community very well. My strategy for fixing this problem is simply to be more present and involved in local community activities, especially arts and environment. I am planning to have an exhibition at Belconnen Art Gallery later this year, which is in my local area.

So how can I be more present, active and able to tap into ‘potentiality’? I think this is an ongoing conversation and one that I hope to continue with other SCANZ peeps and anyone else who is interested.

When I was at the residency I created a dry point etching, sort of a return to home as I was trained as a printmaker at art school nearly 25 years ago. This work is an imagined topography of Mt Taranaki, influenced by my experience of walking on the mountain, which was physically difficult but in a magical, natural environment. I am now in the process of developing these images into an animation, which I will publish once it is completed. Here is a still from the animation below:

Topography, still image from Terrain
Topography, still image from Terrain

I found SCANZ2013 quite an amazing experience on all levels, revitalising heart, mind and spirit. I also found that the diversity of the artists perspectives very enriching. In many ways we all had similar concerns, but all focused on different issues within the context of our work and lifestyle choices. Personally, the message of connectedness also rang loudly, as this has been a challenge for me personally as I try to balance my separate identities as parent, wife, artist, writer, activist, researcher and civil servant. The difficultly has often been about ‘how do I speak’ through these identities in a way that is proactive and cohesive. I suspect that this question will sit with me for a long time as I try to work it out.

But for now, my thoughts turn to potentiality, what is possible and what can be created that can support the ‘new consciousness’ proposed to us the first day by Ian when we were at the Parihaka marae. My first step is to start a conversation via this blog and see where it leads me.