MAHUBHUTA THE GREAT ELEMENTS // UXBRIDGE ARTS CENTRE // FO GUANG TEMPLE // 2015
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the people of Owairoa and Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, as part of Artweek Auckland, and through the generosity of Asia New Zealand Foundation. The artist is also grateful to The Kauri Project, Whaea Taini, Ros Craw, Rhonda Haag, Robert George // filmmaker // Steven Berry // sound artist
Mahābhūta - The Great Elements explores the influence of the elements and the affects natural materials and organic processes have on our wellbeing. Focused around the healing components of sound, smell, colour and flower therapy the exhibitions aims to transcend the mind and capture the senses in a multi media installation. Restoring our connection with the beauty of our natural surroundings and encouraging us to breathe and give thanks to the magic of the natural world and the artistry our mother earth inherently provides. Made across New Zealand and Nepal the artworks draw on the artist’s Buddhist practice, as the repetition of mantra, offering and pilgrimage to sacred Buddhist places is repeated in motifs throughout the series of artworks. The site specific installation that deals with notions of ritual and sacredness. Is all the more appropriate, that the swarms of text, ribbons with handwritten mantra and wind chimes are installed in two sacred sites—in what was once a Presbyterian Church at Uxbridge, and the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple.
This social practice exhibition derives its title from a Sanskrit term translating to “the great element.” At its core is The River of Verses, which involves various individuals, local schools and community groups of Owairoa. The work allows for communal conversation via different modes of participation, through offerings of ancestral wisdom in the form of proverbs, dictums, and maxims. The Uxbridge component showcases the new work A River of Verses which holds an essence of inclusive voice, prayer, mediation and meditation that explores and unpacks the diversity of Auckland’s rich cultural and environmental heritage. As the artwork collects commentaries of voice to emphasise the powers of collaboration not only between ethnicities but also belief systems and oral histories. In an attempt to promote connectivity between us all as human beings. It is a hope that the participator, who suspends the intellectual mind and engages the intuitive, gains full benefit from the connection with the relic. The altar that is the work of art, aims to deepen our understanding to being a part of a greater whole from the initial collections from Auckland’s cultural groups. In an additive communal process of the stories that define our histories, that articulate our cultural mythologies and that help to render a social respect and reflection on our wellbeing which is deeply dependent on honouring and respecting our natural resources.