Constitution Hill 2011

MICHAEL PAREKOWAHI [b.1968 Aotearoa New Zealand Ngā Ariki, Ngāti Whakarongo]

Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection

Michael Parekowhai’s practice moves across a range of disciplines including sculpture, installation and photography. His work is celebrated for its meticulous finish, use of distinctive proportions, colloquial charm and a quirky, ironic sense of humour. Although works may appear simple, this is deceptive; Parekowhai plays with perception the same way that he tests expectations of everyday items, scale, and the comfort zone of his audiences. His works are layered with meaning and test many boundaries by simultaneously highlighting the ordinary, questioning historical and cultural traditions and experimenting with the boundaries of industrial fabrication. Parekowhai has looked to trees, and specifically saplings, in several bodies of work over the last decade. In 2009, his installation The Moment of Cubism contained six bronze lemon tree saplings, while Constitution Hill is an olive tree, also cast in bronze. Trees symbolise many different things, from life, wisdom and transformation, to wealth and prosperity. This young tree, at the beginning of its life, is yet to take root or grow fruit, but speaks to an unknown future and limitless potential. 

+Emily Hartley-Skudder
Staging Your Comeback 2020
Semi-transparent window vinyl on aluminium composite panel, oil on linen, found hose and plumbing fixtures, aluminium trim
Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Smart Gallery

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