Thursday, January 04, 2018

Shots from Mahurangi

Whare Joseph Thompson's sculpture rises beyond the beach and barbecues and colonial gardens of Wenderholm, at the foot of Maungatauhoro, a place of eroding cliffs, ancient pa, a burst dam. 
Maungatauhoro's slopes ooze pipi shells. Some of them have escaped from middens; others were strewn centuries ago, to make the footsteps of approaching warriors audible. Once the pa's trenches were palisaded, so that they resembled bared fangs; now they are toothless gums.
Thompson's pou remembers the chiefs interned on Maungatauhoro: men like Murupaenga, who died at the mouth of the Mahurangi River in 1825, trying hopelessly to hold back Hongi Hika's invasion of the south. Thompson uses wood the way a brutalist architect treats concrete. His pou's faces are a few deep cuts. They are bold yet enigmatic, like the hieroglyphs of Rapa Nui. The pou's expanses of bare wood are rippled, ruffled, the surface of a young creek. This sculpture is not a boundary marker; it is a boundary.
With its sheer cliffs, the pa on Mahurangi was almost impossible to capture. Without a supply of freshwater and space for sleep, the island was perhaps just as hard to defend for long. Waves and wind erode Mahurangi, refine its defences. On a hot day, from a distance, it resembles one of the citadels of ancient desert monk-warriors, a Sinai or a Masada on the Waitemata.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]

3 Comments:

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Blogger Richard said...

Where is this located Scott?

11:59 pm  
Blogger IBU WINDA DI GARUT said...

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8:06 pm  

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