HARAKEKE by Jon Tootill


Jon Tootill

24 March to 14 June 2020

These artworks conceptually follow two previous series ‘Rau’ and ‘Haekaro.’ 

‘Rau’ from the exhibition ‘Pure Forns and Cultural Narratives’
( COCA 2O10 ) is inspired by whakario (carving) and the rau (plumage) of individual native birds which also title the individual works. 

In ‘Haekaro’ from the exhibition ‘Tanikoniko’ ( Nga Tohu o Uenuku 2017 ) the works are tukutuku influenced and based on the colours of the native plant Haekaro.* 

In ‘Harakeke’ the title generically covers the different types of native flax and cultivars from the mighty spceimen on the side of the road at Raungaiti Marae on State highway 27 ( whose leaves have recently been harvested ) to the multi coloured cultivars painted by British Artist and Curator Nerys Ann Johnson (1942 - 2001). 

The colour combinations taken from the Harakeke in different stages of growth and decay are selected by Adobe Capture then arranged in combinations for each artwork. 

The design; based on the leaf shape. 

*’His works on paper Haekaro 1-9 are studies of a native shrub (Pittosporum umbellatum).
Tootill paints the colours of this species through time, as the seasons change, from bright verdant greens through to the plummy pink at the time of flowering.’ 

- ‘Tanikoniko’ Nga tohu o uenuku (Mangere Arts Centre) Matariki Festival 2017 


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