Martin Awa Clarke Langdon with collaborators

Room to breathe: Ka tau hā te mauri

29 Aug — 11 Oct

Exhibition runs: 29 August – 11 October 2020
Exhibition talk with Martin Awa Clarke Langdon: Saturday 29 August, 1:00pm

Please note that as we are still at Alert Level 2 there will be no opening event but the exhibition will open from Saturday 29 August

Room to breathe: Ka tau hā te mauri by Martin Awa Clarke Langdon (Kāi Tahu, Waikato-Tainui) is an exhibition comprising three distinct but interwoven collaborative art projects: What’s in a name?, To hold up the sky, and Kōhatu. Each of the projects involves relationships to materials, places, and peoples. Local histories, and in particular the creation of a staged Māori pā, “Te Araiteuru” for the 1906-7 New Zealand International Exhibition, form the conceptual base from which each project was conceived and developed.

Each project approaches histories as remembered, lived, and ongoing processes of negotiation. What’s in a name? is a collaboration with Ararira Spring Primary School students who are working with kōrari (flax stalk) to understand the power of naming and think through the connections between identity and language. Their finished “lashed” works are displayed in the gallery alongside their reflections on the process. To hold up the sky includes the work of five indigenous artists from Aotearoa New Zealand, Niue, Australia, United States of America, and Canada. The artists were invited by Langdon to create a space between land and sky with found and significant objects they had to hand and then record the result. In addition to the documentation of these newly-created spaces, a digital wānanga will take place on a closed Facebook group over the course of the exhibition. Finally, Kōhatu is a collaboration between Langdon and staff from the Christchurch Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, which seeks to tell the journeys of a selection of kōhatu (rocks) currently stored for future restoration of the buildings within the complex. These rocks have been moved to positions outside The Physics Room to provide places to reflect on the site and surrounding environment. These collaborations are embodied processes; as we know more and experience the perspectives of others, the tangibly known and seen become tied, frayed, separated, and severed.


Martin and The Physics Room team would like to thank and acknowledge the mahi of:

Tamariki of Kaunuku 1, Ararira Springs Primary Te Puna o Ararira

Artists Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Niue: Alofi / Liku), Daniel Twiss (Lakota Rosebud Reservation), Dean Cross (Raised on Ngunnawal / Ngambri Country, of Worimi descent), Tsēmā Igharas (Tahltan First Nation), Richelle Bear Hat (Blackfoot, Cree—Siksika First Nation, Blueberry First Nation)

Staff from the Christchurch Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora

Tim Veling at Ilam School of Fine Arts

Room to breathe: Ka tau hā te mauri Roomsheet (pdf)