Skip to main content
Menu Close

25 September 2004 —
10 November 2004

Jane Zusters:
Out of the Woods:
Te Wao-Nui-a-Tane

Jane Zusters casts a wry look at the way in which Tane, Monarch of the Glen and his children, the birds, have had their dominion cut down.

Their homes and habitats have been milled and planed and sanded and smoothed to become Sovereign timber souvenirs. 

Using found Sovereign timber objects Zusters playfully rejects how the primordial forest of these islands has been put on our coffee tables, mantelpieces and pencil cases.

Laid on the ground like parquet flooring, assembled in a ‘hopscotch’ game, are a range of domestic paraphernalia such as pokerwork trays decorated with birds appropriated from Buller’s iconographic aviary. The ‘hopscotch’ references a formation where in ancient times the Romans rehearsed battle games and campaign strategies. This type of military assault course used to toughen the most hardened of centurions, was copied by children and turned into a game. In New Zealand school playgrounds the game of ‘hopscotch’ omits the square at the top representing heaven. In her configuration, Zusters makes the extinct huia occupy this space since literally the long dead species huia are these days found only in heaven.

Through the medium of digital video Zusters also thinks about representing the land as it is now and as it was before. In fast food for thought wily kaha feeding convivially are tensely juxtaposed with the processed anonymity of a McDonald’s drive-in. You want fries with that?

- Cushla Parekowhai


→ Jane Zusters: Out of the Woods: Te Wao-nui-a-Tane, 2004, publication


→ Jane Zusters: Out of the Woods: Te Wao-nui-a-Tane, 2004, exhibition card

Te Tuhi is open as usual during the Eastern Busway construction. 21 William Roberts Road, Pakuranga, is the best address to enter into navigation apps to guide you to the free parking at our door. Please call us on (09) 577 0138 if you have any questions.