Maureen Lander

Crown Grab Bag. 2006

Crown Grab Bag. 2006 by Maureen Lander

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Maureen Lander (born 1942)

Te Hikutu, Ngāpuhi, Pākehā

Crown Grab Bag 2006

pingao fibre, blue textile cushion, gold braid, tassels

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki collection

purchased 2011

The first version of Maureen Lander’s woven pingao crown was as a component in her installation Gilt Complex (1995) in the Korurangi exhibition for the opening of the New Gallery. In it she compared pingao with European ‘gold leaf’ in the context of art-making, and to explore public unawareness about it as an endangered native dune plant and an important taonga to Maori, especially for tukutuku (decorative panels) and raranga (weaving). Small gilt framed photographs on the floor showed exquisite woven examples of pingao alongside people trampling it on the dunes, counter-pointed by a row of small gilt-framed mirrors on the wall in which viewers saw their own images.

It is no coincidence that this artwork also profiled the fact that there was a growing agitation between Māori iwi (represented by a pingao-clad pillar as a pou whenua) and ‘the Crown’ (represented by the pingao crown) over the current and future ownership of the sea’s foreshore and on-going iwi access to long-established resources.

Crown Grab Bag was recreated after the Labour Government passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004, described at the time as being the last great ‘Crown land grab’.

Crown Grab Bag. 2006
Production date
pingao fibre, blue textile cushion
430 x 500 x 500 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2011
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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