Fiona Pardington, A60927, 2019, pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. With thanks to the Wellcome Collection | Science Museum Group. Courtesy: the artist and STARKWHITE Gallery, Auckland.
When Fiona Pardington found these unusual objects from London’s Wellcome Collection she was struck by their mystery. Neither taonga, nor mass-produced trinket, they are as difficult to identify as their creators. Acquired from London auction houses, these faux hei-tiki were probably created for the Pākehā or international market that flourished 1880-1910. Maoriland was the poetic name for the romantic late colonial fiction they represent. Pardington re-appropriates and breathes life into them with her camera and reparative vision, giving them dignity as the orphans of a complex history of interaction, exchange and exploitation.
Exhibition opens: 5:30–7.30pm Wednesday 12 June 2019