Aniwaniwa Stills 2008
by Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena

Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena have created this new exhibition as a stand-alone and coherent body of work drawn from their major installation at the 2007 Venice Biennale - the world's premier art event. Aniwaniwa Stills references the audio-visual work but operates in two-dimensional silence.

Aniwaniwa explores the idea of submersion as a metaphor for cultural loss and tells the story of Horahora, a village on the Waikato River where Brett Graham's father was born, which was flooded to create a new dam at Lake Karapiro. The images in this exhibition are at once elegiac, beautiful and filled a momentum suggesting the human and cultural capacity for survival and hope in the face of change. The hand-stained oak frames also add a layer of contextual complexity suggesting the power of preserved memories, images and history.

While it tells a very specific and local story, Aniwaniwa has broader references linking to environmental concerns, with rising sea levels and global warming, and ideas and about cultural loss an era of globalization.

Writing about the installation in Venice, City Gallery Wellington senior curator Heather Galbraith said the work "had great integrity, poignancy and mana"... "It affected visitors in ways that many of the more glitzy presentations would have yearned for."

The works, in editions of ten, come in two sizes of 615mm and 270 mm diameter. They work particularly well in clusters.

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Aniwaniwa 04
year: 2008
media: Digital still

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