On the Te Tuhi Billboards in Parnell, Elliot Collins presents an ongoing body of work that ruminates on landscape and memory.
Documenting maunga (mountains) across Aotearoa that the artist visited, following in his ancestors’ footsteps, I Remember Mountains creates lateral connections to the landscape as experienced through our bodies and intergenerational memory. Calling into question the first-person ‘I’ in the work’s title by casting the viewer as a protagonist who constructs their own world through their perspective, the artist posits that places become heritable and moveable.
Collins acknowledges his Pākehā worldview by adopting an image of native mistletoe, pikirangi, a semi-parasitic vine that relies on a host tree for sustenance and birds to disperse its seeds, and whose flowers give the text in the work its colour. In doing so, the artist encourages Pākehā and tauiwi viewers to reflect on their own connections to the land and their responsibility as manuhiri (visitors).