G(u)arden Gates

Matrix, installation view: National Art Gallery 1993

G(u)arden Gates

G(u)arden Gates


Seven steel gates arranged in an octagon. Passing each gate the observer is brought to the next phase of the cycle, each marking significant moments of change through life, until the end, when the observer exits the exhibit the same way they entered. Anne Kirker states it clearly for the book: I, HERE, NOW 2010; "The work suggests a right of passage that is not linear and transcendent but circular and grounded."

1. Matrix : Hardboard panel undercoated in white, acrylic paint; painted surface used oil colour, shellac, asphaltum dropped in pools of water for marble effect. A large plastic mesh bag containing hair is centered on the panel. The latter is mounted on a wooden stretcher which has cleats for hanging on its rear sides.

2. Daughter of the Father : Hair tightly entwined in Cyclone gate and held with bull-dog clips, red plastic mesh bags and red embroidery thread.

3. Sacrifice : A hardboard panel painted with white acrylic; left and right bottom corners, red acrylic paint. The panel is mounted on a wooden stretcher and has cleats for hanging on both sides at rear. On the front, seven black plastic mesh bags hold hair which is a mixture of real and synthetic. They hang by coarse string/twine by seven large nails.

4. Processual Ground : Short, curly hair is loosely entwined and tied into a Cyclone gate. Some longer hair is pulled taught over the gate.

5. Differentiation : Hardboard painted with white acrylic, mounted on a stretcher with cleats for hanging on both sides at the rear. A copper bracket projects out over the panel. Approximately 36 swatches of long hair, some plaited, hang down from the bracket to which they are attached by bands of processed animal tissue. The tissue is attached by stitched linen thread.

6. Rebirth : Clay mixed with resins, glue, colour, and hair, 3 seed pods on the Cyclone gate.

7. Eyes of Life, Eyes of Death : Hair curls, swathes, plaits and weaving, entwined and bound into Cyclone gates. Gates edges are bound in satin and two pieces of tree bark.

7 Cyclone gates each : 1000 x 2000 mm

Wellington, New Zealand

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Collection