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The Architecture of Happiness Part II: Jana Wood exhibition

The Architecture of Happiness Part II: An exhibition by Jana Wood

The Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence Street, Devonport 24th March – 11th April 2012-03-18

Jana Wood has again created a body of work that addresses the continued destruction of Auckland’s heritage.

An installation of bricks sourced from the St Heliers Turua Street rubble, will be on display in the Depot Gallery, in Auckland’s historical community of Devonport, in the form of a totem pole reaching almost three meters high.

Totem poles were created for a variety of reasons by indigenous peoples. In North American culture they were sometimes a tribute to an important person in society, or to commemorate family lineage, but they were also erected as “Shame poles”, in which a person who owed money, or was indebted to the community in some way, was shamed. Maori traditional art incorporates Totem Poles in the form of poupou (carved figures) around the walls of their whare tipuna. These usually represent and honour ancestors from the tangata whenua and other tribes.

The Turua St Totem Pole could be interpreted in many ways, a tribute to those who fought to save the historic houses, or honouring the pioneering families who built the houses in 1935, just after Tamaki Drive had opened up. It could also be interpreted as a shame pole, to the systems that allowed the homes to be demolished.

The installation is part of a group exhibition, entitled Viewpoint, comprising new works by eight artists who have been studying and exhibiting together for three years. The works in the exhibition reflect the diverse viewpoints in our community and aim to open discussion around diversity of thought.


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