aute/paper mulberry, pigment
1700 x 650 mm
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2019
04 Sep 2019
New Zealand Art
"After my first deep sea voyage on Haunui waka I realised the importance of knowing how the stars change during each season. I wanted to learn the times stars rise and set. Matariki records the time all the stars are rising and setting over a three day period during Matariki 2019, 24-26th of June.
The horizontal lines framing the piece actually represent two hour increments starting midday on the 24th of June. The duration of the recording was essentially determined by the length of the actual piece of aute.
While making this work I enjoyed visually seeing the patterns of stars over three nights. In this piece you may notice that Northern Stars have a short arch in our sky and the more south stars rise, the longer they are cruising over head. Until eventually they become circumpolar, so they never set like Atutahi and Mahutonga (Southerns Cross).
I like the idea that the composition is pre-determined by the times stars rise and set. This is knowledge our ancestors used to navigate to Aotearoa. Our modern navigators on board our waka such as Hokule’a and Haunui need to have a clear picture of where all the stars are, above and below the horizon, to find direction. These star maps are essential what they create to study for long voyagers. They need to be able to look up on a cloudy night and see one star and know what it is and what the rest of the sky looks like.
When you are the navigator you are responsible for knowing the way forward."
- Nikau Gabrielle Hindin, 2019.