Edith Amituanai’s photographs of contemporary Cook Islands are on display alongside historic images from the late 1800s. Photo: Supplied/22063001
A celebration of community offering glimpses into lives lived in the Cook Islands over 100 years ago, feature in a new photography exhibition.
Edith and George: In Our Sea of Islands, on display at Whare Toi, the Palmerston North Art Gallery, features historical photographs contrasted with recent images from Pasifika communities in Auckland.
exhibit provides “an intriguing conversation across time”, said Te Manawa
programme developer Talei Langley.
Amituanai produced the more recent photos, while George Crummer, who settled in
the Cook Islands from the late 1800s, had captured the historic images.
Parkinson, director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, worked with Amituanai
to develop the exhibition.
photos depict the everyday life of the photographers in two communities 100
don’t have that idea anymore because photography is so accessible now,” Parkinson
said. “But it’s the idea that a photographer can bring a different perspective
on a community and lift them up and celebrate them in a different way.”
title “In Our Sea of Islands” is both a reminder that New Zealand is part of
the Pacific, and a reference to a quote from Pacifika theorist Epeli Hau’ofa.
a European perspective there are wedges of land with nothing in-between, but
from a Pasifika perspective the moana is the central thing that binds those
was like a highway, said Parkinson.
many works by Crummer are stored at Te Papa and displayed on its website.
will be giving a public talk at Whare Toi at noon on July 8, with a focus on
the genesis of the project, its wider meaning in the context of colonisation
and cross-cultural exchange, as well as her broader artistic practice.