'The Undiscovery Question' featured the mixed media work of Auckland based artist Arwen Flowers. Arwen talks about the thoughts and processes behind the body of work below:
Why call this exhibition ‘The Undiscovery Question’?
I reason, that when you’ve made a discovery you are learning about something previously unknown. ‘Undiscover’ isn’t a word but implies undoing that discovery. So, imagine you’d discovered new lands or sailed unknown seas, if you were able to return back to the ‘world’ would you then tell your family, friends or colleagues where you’ve been and also show them how to go back there? Or would you ‘undiscover’ it all - and I ask you then, why would you do that?
These pieces are a result of my ongoing fascination with themes of exploration and navigation. In this exhibition, I question what it would be like to arrive at an unknown, previously undiscovered land or sail uncharted seas.
I have read tales of early NZ explorers and the wives who accompanied them, researched early navigation practices of South Pacific cultures, thought about ocean inhabitants and how they are affected by human behavior, examined the movements of the stars, read about how waves form, imagined examining uncatalogued plants and insects, and sleeping under a forest canopy of trees, never before seen by human eyes.
The beautiful subtleties of prints have inspired me for many years. During an artist residency in Piha, West Auckland 2016, I chose to explore an alternative photographic process combined with monotype printmaking to create a visual record of the natural environment in the surrounding area. I made work about how we relate to the environment through the practice of collecting. That work on paper, the materials I chose to use, and the themes of collecting and environmental relationship have led to this new collection of artworks.
- Arwen Flowers
'The Undiscovery Question' opens Saturday 6 October and runs for five weeks.
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