Neither Solid nor Liquid considers the relationship between our bodies and the natural world, particularly by focusing on the concept of Mauri as a means of weaving together human and non-human entities. The billboards feature excerpts from the poem Neither Solid nor Liquid, written by Hana Pera Aoake, which considers the abundance of Pohutukawa trees in coastal areas, the effects of man-made infrastructure, the falsehood of “endless growth”, colonial plunder, waterways that have been drained or concreted and the fact that Aotearoa is the whale-stranding capital of the world.
By speaking to the current state of waterways – particularly in Taamaki Makaurau, where a recent drought resulted in water being taken from the Waikato awa – Neither Solid nor Liquid invites viewers to consider questions related to the ecological crises currently affecting the planet, particularly with regard to water and agricultural practices in Aotearoa. Where does our water come from? What chemicals are we ingesting? How do we harvest seeds? How did it come to this?
Using concepts derived from Te Ao Maaori, Neither Solid nor Liquid considers ways of viewing the world that speak to the interconnectedness of all living and non-living entities. In reaffirming the sacred and realigning our bodies to the natural world, it asks how we can look after our whenua and wai for future generations.
About the artists
Hana Pera Aoake
Hana Pera Aoake (Ngaati Mahuta, Ngaati Hinerangi me Ngaati Raukawa, Tainui/Waikato, Ngaati Waewae, Kaati Mamoe, Waitaha) is an independent artist, writer and researcher based in Te Rotopaateke, Te Wai Pounamu. Their work explores the overlaps and tensions between Indigenous and European epistemologies, by threading bits of both together to weave new meanings. Hana works with text, sculpture, video, clay and textiles.
Priscilla Rose Howe
Priscilla Rose Howe is a Pākehā artist, designer and writer currently residing in Ōtautahi. Working from different disciplines, Priscilla uses mediums to explore ideas around phenomenology, specifically focusing on domestic and social spaces as a site for inquiry.