Group exhibition project with Arielle Walker, Debbie Harris, Emily Parr, Luca Nicholas, Makyla Curtis

"groundwork is a collaborative show on botanical communication, undergrowth, and rootedness. Through print, poetics, textiles, ceramics and film we explore beneath and above ground for a sense of belonging through botany, in our past and our future. Roots link us through our interlaced and reciprocal practices."

Arielle Walker gathers acts of storytelling into tactile, experiential encounters. Her pieces for groundwork explore relationship to ancestral whenua through poetry and foraged plant dyes.

Debbie Harris is an object-based installation artist whose organic ceramic sculptures playfully highlight the eccentric forms found within the garden bed, while also utilising conversation as method to explore the relational capacity of the garden space.

Emily Parr makes video art centred around specific ecologies: the relationships between people, whenua, and social and political frameworks. Her video for groundwork pulls from an ongoing project on settler-indigenous relationships around Te Moananui a Kiwa. The work considers how we might understand our rootedness, our longing, and our interconnection amidst the climate crisis.

Luca Nicholas is a print-based artist who explores belonging and (dis)orientation through models of embrace. In groundwork, he explores how plants provide markers of orientation, time, experience, and what happens when these markers are lost; etching the last blooms of his mother’s gardenia bush before it is gone.

Makyla Curtis is a print-based artist who explores archives and settler descendant belonging through letterpress and nature-printing. ‘Do you have fern fever yet?’ explores these notions of identity and belonging within the fronds of native plants and how they became part of our fictional homecoming.



































Arielle Walker
first soft light of the rising sun (2020).
3.8 x 1.79m. Foraged and found plant dyes (harakeke, dock root, lupin,
feusag a gobhair/goats beard lichen, kānuka, iron, pomegranate skin, onion skin) on vintage and passed-down silk, cotton, and linen.
rongoā (2020). 5m 35s. Spoken plant poetics.

Debbie Harris

I watched as mum planted the roots first (2020). Dimensions variable, ceramic, plaster, acrylic, paper, textile.

Emily Parr
tending to the roots (2020). 8m 31s. HD video, copper tub from the laundry of her mother’s childhood home,
ferns that grow in the lands she descends from.

Luca Nicholas
last summer (2020). 280 x 250 mm, ongoing series of intaglio prints on Fabriano Rosapina paper.

Makyla Curtis

Ink Herbarium (2020). 1500 x 3200 mm
 Nature print on cotton. Ferns collected in Taranaki 2019.
Do you have fern fever yet? (live printing at the opening only). Print collectors card: bracken, rauaruhe.

Ferns collected at Corban Estate Arts Centre, January 2020.


First iteration at The Barrel Store, Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2020

All images by Emily Parr