Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua

Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua
Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand
March 21 – April 24 2013


Think of energy and you’ll think of movement – forces moving against and colliding into each other, generating change as they do so. Reuben Paterson, in this digital animation, brings to light the historic energies  the land absorbs.


In particular, Paterson makes reference to the land he is personally connected to: “My rohe is Matata, Ngati Rangitihi iwi, and on a small part of its coast a new subdivision has been built. My uncle has told me of how this is where the land wars ended, as waka taua became trapped in an out going tide, it became a place of many deaths. Now the subdivision, which has absorbed all this tapu, exudes a lot more pain on its residents.


His use of black and white in this work makes reference to this multiplicity of perspectives; things are not always as black and white as we often perceive them to be.


Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua also acts as a purification device. Water bubbles towards us at the start of the animation, keeping us noa (free from tapu, unrestricted) for the our encounter with the past.


Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua
Single channel animation