Artspace

Natalie Robertson

Natalie Robertson

Natalie Robertson, Making rewena bread and camp oven, Te Rimu, 2017
Series of 3 unique digital photographic prints

(Above) 1/3, Dimensions: 1185mm x 794mm, Price: $500, unframed.
(Below left) 2/3, Dimensions: 622mm x 415mm, Price $250, unframed.
(Below left) 3/3, Dimensions: 622mm x 415mm, Price $250, unframed. 

To enquire or to purchase please email accounts@artspace.org.nz 

 

Natalie Robertson produced this series during Local Time’s annual hui at Te Rimu, Tikapa and Omaewa, Port Awanui. Omaewa and Te Rimu sits within Robertson’s iwi, Ngati Porou and within the Te Whanau a Pokai hapu of her whanau. The photographs document the stages of production of the potato starch sourdough, rewena. The breads were cooked within a camp oven that consisted of large metal dishes placed in hot ash. Robertson was taught how to make the bread while on residency in Ngati Porou by Andrea Manuel. This project is an extension of Robertson’s relationship with Local Time the artist and writer collective that facilitates conversations in ways attentive to the rhythms and histories of place, and engaging the dynamics of visitor and host in the context of mana whenua and discourses of indigenous self-determination. 

 

Natalie Robertson Natalie Robertson

 

Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou, Clann Dhònnchaidh) is a photographic and moving image artist and Senior Lecturer at AUT University, Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Much of Robertson’s practice is based in Te Tai Rawhiti, her East Coast Ngati Porou homelands. Here, her focus is on her ancestral Waiapu River and the protracted catastrophic impacts of colonization, deforestation, and agriculture. As a tribal member, Robertson sees it as a responsibility to protect the mauri (life force) of the river. She uses photography and video to record the state of the river, surrounding land and to communicate tribal narratives.  Drawing on historic archives and tribal oral customs, her research terrain and artistic practice engages with indigenous relationships to land and place, exploring Maori knowledge practices, environmental issues and cultural landscapes. 

 

She has exhibited extensively in public institutions throughout New Zealand and internationally, including the 2016-17 multi-venue group exhibition Politics of Sharing in Berlin, Stuttgart, Waitangi and Auckland, and a 2014 solo exhibition Te Ahikāroa: Home Fires Burning at the C.N. Gorman Museum, California. Over the course of five years Robertson photographed for A Whakapapa of Tradition: One Hundred Years of Ngāti Porou Carving, 1830–1930, written by Ngarino Ellis, published in March 2016. In May 2017, the book won The Judith Binney Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.  Robertson is also a member of Local Time (est. 2007) a collective which facilitates site-specific projects, honing in on local and indigenous contexts.

 

Natalie Robertson and Local Time exhibited in Politics of Sharing: On Collective Wisdom an exhibition developed in collaboration with Germany’s ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), conceived by Elke aus dem Moore (ifa) and Misal Adnan Yıldız (Artspace). It was first launched in ifa’s Berlin gallery, and later travelled to Stuttgart during 2016. The New Zealand edition of the exhibition launched at Waitangi with Local Time in February 2017, and then showed at the offsite location on Lorne Street March 4 - April 1.