PHOTOGRAPH: NATASHA HARTH, QAGOMA – TAASA Review March 2019
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This article was originally found in the March 2019 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 28, Issue 1, Page 16).
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A notable feature of APT9 is the celebration of the beauty of natural objects: the colour, texture and patterns of stones, shells, feathers and wood that often go unnoticed.
The incorporation of such objects into lyrical installations alerts us to the increasingly urgent need to preserve our natural world, articulated not in strident or aggressive tones, but the soft laments of loss. The glorification of nature is most pronounced in the works of select Aboriginal and Pacific artists: Jonathon Jones’ poetic installation of some 2,000 `tools’ made from mottled black emu eggshells, bones and white feathers, inscribing the arc of birds in flight is outstanding.
So too is the elegant sculpture Te ma (Fish trap) comprising columns made of 8,000 pairs of honey-coloured ringed Venus shells collected by Aotearoa New Zealand lead artist Chris Charteris with collaborators; and the mat made of subtly shaded pandanus strips bound with bush vine string by Adelaide Mekea Aniona of the Barapang clan of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Some of these APT features – the use of natural materials and textures, and an empathy for the land and its spirituality – is drawn together by the leading contemporary Mongolian artist Enkhbold Togmidshiirev (b...