Sculpture, Woven Mat. Hessian, designed polyester fabric, thread.
Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki… If you look after me, then I will look after you.
- Tangaroa, God of the Sea
Tangaroa is an ode toward the great atua of the sea, lakes, rivers and creatures that live within them. The mat represents the cultural traditions that are passed down throughout generations, replacing pandanus leaves with a machine made fabric. The hessian replicates the nature of pandanus, however, is more fragile reflecting upon the crumbling nature of the Polynesian cultures and traditions. Interweaved with three different dyed shades to imitate the Cook Island weaving patterns on many traditional mats, hats and bowls. Additionally, the polyester fabric is designed with a visual depiction of Tangaroa, broken across the mat. Much like a puzzle, the audience must use different perspectives to identify the Sea god within the mat. This shrine-like work highlights the importance upon educating future generations of Polynesian mythology and the stories of the beginning. Nature is a vital part of Polynesian culture and Tangaroa is just one story of many that need to be shared within the wider world.