This site-specific work first sought to explore the relationship between architectural space and painting, considering the transitional space that the window occupies between the street and the courtyard behind. Significant existing elements of the space are four black painted windows, which, together with the window frame, form white crosses. These crosses and the vertical rectangle of each pane of glass inform the composition of Passage, which references the idea of transition; physical or spiritual.
Through the process of considering this work, I conceived a relationship between these inadvertent architectural features – white cross forms on black – to the stark, poetic Black Paintings of Sir Ralph Hotere. Shortly after I started working on the project I visited the Auckland City Library and saw Hotere’s print Anzac 111. In this work hundreds of small crosses are used to draw attention to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died in Gallipoli in First World War. During the making of Passage ten New Zealand soldiers had lost their lives in Afghanistan. Taking cues from Hotere, this work pays homage to those soldiers.
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