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8 Apr 2023

30 Apr 2023

Moana Lee & Giselle Weir

Substratum references the foundations on which everything is formed and depends; both the physical Earth itself, and ways of thinking about and seeing the world. In this exhibition, Moana Lee and Giselle Weir focus on weeds and insects, historically undervalued and sometimes reviled members of our ecosystems. Lee’s anthotypes made from plant extracts, and Weir’s work using watercolour, gouache and embroidery, expose the layers of interconnectivity that can exist in unexpected places.


Giselle Weir
Insects are all around us in our day to day lives sharing the Earth with us, their lives existing parallel to ours. Often regarded negatively despite being vital members of ecosystems and crucial to our existence, to bring them to the forefront of works in a gallery space aims to encourage viewers to consider them in new ways; to contemplate life through the lens of a non-human experience, and give thought to the delicately interconnected web of lives that form the whole.


Moana Lee
A puzzle which fits into Moana Lee’s MFA research, substratum concerns the oxygen production and carbon sequestration equation. The lack of forest within Aotearoa necessary for those processes is her focus, particularly the positive changes made at Hinewai reserve. It was here in the late eighties, that Dr Hugh Wilson secured 1500 hectares of gorse infested hill country and consciously stood back allowing nature to take control of reforestation. Native seeds came out of dormancy and thrived beneath the gorse nurse canopy, eventually outgrowing, overshadowing and transforming that nursery into mulch. The gorse introduced to Aotearoa as a hedgerow plant used to divide deforested pastural farmland, then ran wild and conquered it, has now turned full circle. It has transformed from an exotic invasive weed into the catalyst for reforestation.

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