TE WÁHIPOUNAMU:WESTLAND

 

 DEB MARSHALL

DATE HERE 7-29 JULY

The title of this exhibition, Te Wāhipounamu: Westland, is a reference to the South West coast of the South Island of New Zealand/Aotearoa, a World Heritage site and one of the great natural landscapes of the world. Te Wāhipounamu is the traditional name given to this area by the original Māori inhabitants of this ancient and beautiful land and translates as the land or island of greenstone.

In this body of work, I explore the timeless quality of this primeval landscape. I walked and sketched through rainforests full of rare plants, some dating back millions of years, continuing my way down to the rivers and the West Coast beaches where greenstone, or pounamu, is found. Along the way I discovered towering trees playing host to a countless variety of plants and lichens and exquisite miniature forests of mosses and ferns. Back in the studio, I translated my impressions using watercolour, tinted water-soluble graphite and tinted water-soluble charcoal onto recycled cotton paper.

These paintings are a visual diary of my experience of this extraordinary land and my attempt to capture something of its pristine beauty. I found these enduring native strongholds provided a quiet respite and an inspirational counterpoint to the frenetic pace of our everchanging lives.