Gallery gains 30 stone - call Jenny Craig!
In 1969/70, an aluminium smelter was built on Tiwai Point. The traditional industry of stone and the contemporary aluminium smelter provide a context for Stephen Mulqueen. Using stone and aluminium which specifically relate to the use of the site, he produces artefacts of a contemporary culture - a hybrid of past and present industry. These cast forms are incredibly heavy.
Papakihau specifically relates to Tiwai Point in Southland, where pre-European Maori quarried Argillite, Basalt and Granite from multi-faceted shapes known as Ventifacts. These hard sharp materials were ideal for the production of tools.
Mulqueen casts Ventifacts in bronze, fossilizing text and numbers to create modem artforms/artefacts. He is concerned with the process of naming, transforming a space into a place, a simple object into a specific reference.
The names ‘Papakihau, Slapped by the Wind’ are cultural reference points for Mulqueen while addressing issues between Pakeha and Maori. They bring connections between the natural processes that form Ventifacts with the cultural processes, such as employment of the land and a layering of traditions, that are involved with the Tiwai Point site.
Stephen Mulqueen is a sculptor exploring relationships between the land and stages of civilisation that employed the land and its resources for survival. Mulqueen produces archaeological fictions, joining the past with the present to produce beautiful and mysterious new treasures.
→ Sandstone blocks dominate show, 1995
→ Sculptural statements in wood, New Zealand Herald, 10-05-1995
→ Stephen Mulqueen: Papakihau, 1995, exhibition card