Ani O'Neill

There's no place like home

Artwork Detail

For more than 20 years, installation and performance artist Ani O’Neill has often reinterpreted Cook Islands art forms which were passed down to her from her Rarotongan grandmother tīvaivai (quilt making), sewing and crochet – all infused with an urban sensibility.

There’s no place like home (1998) comprises over two hundred meticulously crocheted circular forms, arranged in swatches of colour. Originally commissioned and exhibited in the eleventh Biennale of Sydney in 1998, this installation aligned with the wider themes of quotidian phenomena set by Director Jonathan Watkins. The biennale’s concept, Watkins shared, ‘aimed to consider the everyday – or represented everyday activity- but also worked that embodied the everyday.’

O’Neill’s circular forms recall a myriad of artistic traditions- from the pandanus placemats she encountered as the Rita Angus Artist in Residence that is ubiquitous in the Pacific to Julian Dashper’s paintings on drum heads or even Jasper John’s target paintings. Altogether, challenging the value distinction between fine art and craft, the latter to which many indigenous art forms are relegated.

In her own playful and highly innovative way, O’Neill draws on aspects of the everyday in domestic spaces, in ways that have advanced our understandings of contemporary art in Aotearoa. She shares, ‘I grew up with a heritage of bright colours, flowers, feasting, sunshine, lagoons…I’m bringing that culture into a developed New Zealand culture that is primarily about progress.’

There's no place like home
Ani O'Neill
Production date
108 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2001
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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