Shona Rapira-Davies

There Are No Bees in My Garden

There Are No Bees in My Garden by Shona Rapira-Davies

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He hanganga hou te There Are No Bees in My Garden, 2020 nā te ringa toi matua, a Shona Rapira-Davies. Ko tā te mahi toi whakarite nei he whakaatu i te hītori o te koroniaratanga me ōna hua mā te iwi me te taiao. Kua tau ngā tiu 100 i hangaia ā-ringa ai ki runga i tētahi hanganga rākau rino kaitā. I haria mai ngā tiu ki Aotearoa e tauiwi nō Ūropi hei maumaharatanga i te kāinga kua whakarērea. He manu tūhāhā ēnei manu i haria mai ai ki Aotearoa nā te mea kei te noho ki ngā tāone me ngā tāonenui anake. Tē kitea i ngā ngahere o Aotearoa. Ko tēnei tētahi o ngā momo rāwaho ruarua nei kāore i whakapā kino ki te ngahere, ki te pūnaha hauropi.

Pērā i ētahi atu mahi toi a Rapira-Davies, i te kōrewha tuatahi ka pōhēhētia he toi ngāwari noa iho – he tāraitanga mō te rākau, he tiu waea angiangi kei runga i ngā peka. Heoi anō, he tūturutanga mōkinokino kē te aronga. Ko tāna kē he whakaatu i te panonitanga o te taiao, he reo whakaata e ai ki a Rapira-Davies i ngā pānga o ‘te rangatiratanga matatika Ūropi’ ki runga ake i te whenua Māori, i te iwi Māori, ā, i ngā pānga e patu ai i te awe wairua Maori.

There Are No Bees in My Garden, 2020 is a new installation by senior artist Shona Rapira-Davies. An allegorical work, the installation addresses the history of colonisation and its ongoing impacts on people and the environment. Its 100 handmade sparrows perch on a large steel tree construction. Sparrows were first brought to Aotearoa by Europeans as reminders of a home left behind. Transplanted to New Zealand, the birds are unique in that they only live in and around towns and cities. They are not found in the New Zealand bush. They are also one of the few introduced species that have not impacted the native bush or upset the existing ecosystem.

Like much of Rapira-Davies’ work, There Are No Bees in My Garden, appears at first glance to be benign – a lyrical sculpture of a tree with delicate wire sparrows in its branches. However, this alludes to a bleaker reality. It addresses the alteration of the New Zealand environment and gives voice to what Rapira-Davies defines as the impacts of ‘European moral authority’ over Māori land and Māori people, and to the damaging effect of that on the Māori psyche.

Title
There Are No Bees in My Garden
Artist/creator
Production date
2020
Credit line
Courtesy of the artist and Bowen Galleries
Accession no
X2020/120
Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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