Memory markers in the landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand
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This thesis grapples with the problem of how non-indigenous artists represent the landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand. Key research methods involve the artist as auto ethnographer in the form of pilgrim or traveller. By means of photographic journal and poetic response, various signs, signwriting, tombstones, monuments and remains in the North Island/ Te Ika a Māui are recorded and discussed as complex ‘memory markers’. This fieldwork feeds into artistic research as photography, painting and sculpture that explores language, text and font inscribed upon the landscape. In turn, the exegesis explores the complexities of colonial settler culture, inscribing names on the land, then encoded as places on maps with which land surveyors laid the foundations upon which colonial hegemony could be extended. This thesis is a provocation of the idea that the landmass of Aotearoa New Zealand was, and is, a place to write about, to write to and to write upon, thus exploring indigenous and non-indigenous ways of seeing and being with the land.