Ali Kennedy - Sculptures and Drawings, until 12 January 2019.
“Place and mind may interpenetrate until the nature of both is altered” Nan Shepherd
I began this work following a family history trip with my sister and my daughter to Riverton in Southland. Standing on the beaches and searching graveyards in the midst a southerly storm we envisioned the lives of our ancestor women who came to the whaling station on the Aparima River in the 1840s. How did these women weather this experience and how were they shaped by it ?
Stories that survive from this time come to us in small sharp fragments speaking of strength and steadfastness softened by my mother’s nostalgia for a summer place of beaches where she spent her childhood.
The work is also a reflection on how I belong in this land and, as I am now approaching my seventies, how I have been weathered by my own life.
Clay is of the land and I love how, in the process of forming and firing, the distinctive nature of a particular clay influences the work. In some pieces I have left the marks made while working the pieces intact. In others I have considered how the rocks in the landscape are sculptured by sand, rain and wind. I prefer to leave the pieces unglazed, using only oxides and slips, as I enjoy the colours and tactile nature of exposed clay.
This body of work is a continuation of work done in 2016 for an exhibition at Three Eyes Gallery in Wellington.
Weather and place mark us. We must learn how to be immersed in a place and will be forever altered by it.
The winds have blown us here to this place
How will we stand when the wind blows