For the Te Tuhi Billboards, Elliot Collins presents an ongoing body of work that ruminates on the 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.
Places become heritable and moveable, calling into question the subjective ‘I’, and casting the viewer as a protagonist who constructs their own world through their perspective. Collins acknowledges his Pākehā worldview by adopting the image of the native mistletoe, a semi-parasitic vine that relies on a host tree for sustenance and birds to disperse its seeds, and whose flowers give the text its colour.
In doing so, the artist encourages us to reflect on our connection to the land, and our responsibility as manuhiri (visitors).