Over several years, photographer and artist Bruce Connew has roamed the many memorials and gravestones of Aotearoa’s colonial wars, seeking out, in Connew’s words, ‘testaments to folly: A vocabulary of colonisation’.
The extensive exhibition A Vocabulary presents 79 photographic prints by Connew, selected from a larger collection of 306 illustrations reproduced in the accompanying book. The rich and confronting presentation depicts remnants of memorials scattered across mostly Te Ika-a-Maui North Island. It explores residual memory, what is misremembered or not remembered, and seeks to contend with the Imperially inflected histories scattered across Aotearoa.
At the heart of the project is a collaboration with renowned art historian, Rangihīroa Panoho, who wrote the catalogue essay for the publication. Excerpts from Panoho’s longer essay are presented within the exhibition as ‘laments’, a series of succinct reflections on the same memorials from a te ao Māori perspective.
The exhibition is developed and toured by Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland.
Proudly Sponsored by Tauranga City Council
University of Waikato, Tauranga Campus