River Maps

2017 - Present

Historically, maps have been political tools, designed to clearly show what is considered to be of material value, and diminish what is not. Colour alchemy is based on a different set of values, values of kaitiakitanga and mōhiotanga

Each piece of each map uses gathered plant materials from around a specific river: endemic, native, and introduced. Each plant is methodically simmered to extract colour, using (if applicable) water from the river or similar source, and then dye-tested on local wool. These tests, when hand-pieced together, become a colour- map of the area – eg the Tāmaki Estuary, or the River Blanda.

In piecing the works together, strange relationships form – plants that appear different bleed similar shades,

come from the same whakapapa, share roots.

A Map of the Tāmaki Estuary, June 2017. Hand-knit New Zealand wool yarn and natural dyes foraged from around the Tāmaki Estuary, Auckland, NZ

Two Maps of the River Blanda, September 2018. Hand-knit Icelandic lopi and New Zealand wool yarn, and natural dyes foraged from around the River Blanda, Blönduós, Iceland

A Map of the Tongaporutu River, April 2019. Patchworked vintage New Zealand wool blankets and natural dyes foraged from around the Tongaporutu River, Taranaki, NZ

First iteration won People's Choice in the Estuary Art & Ecology Awards, Malcolm Smith Gallery, 2017

Second iteration shown in Te haerenga tuatahi ki Tongaporutu, St Paul St Gallery Three, 2019