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Our Work on Display at the Venice Art Biennale in Italy

HARMONY by Gill Gatfield


Kahurangi Pounamu, 24ct, alluvial gold, Tākaka marble black velvet, gilded Italian laurel leaf frame

Venice Installation: 3.65mH x 5.25mW

Artwork frame dims: 225 x 225 x 38mm

Inside a gilded frame, a triptych of micro-figures align and punctuate a minimalist black square. Carved in precious stones and gold from the Hands of Aotearoa, the ancient materials hold the wairua, spiritual essence, and ancestral connections to whenua, origins and land. Emerging out of the dark as first-forms and icons, the figures evoke spirits and ancestors, origins stories and other worlds.

Placed sylphlike on the bed of black velvet and hung on a wall, the naked pronouns reimagine the exoticised lens of early European painters, upholding autonomy in a post-colonial feminist critique.

Facing the Grand Canal on the Venetian Palazzo wall, Harmony is encircled by laurel leaves, a Mediterranean native with healing properties. Sized and positioned to encompass the human head, the gilded frame bestows on each viewer a laurel crown, a Classical symbol of victory and peace. Beyond the frame, the precious miniature fits in the palm of a child's hand. Free and united, the tiny I-columns are micro-foundations for a macro-idea. In title and form, Harmony draws from philosophies and thought traditions from across time, cultures and place. Among these, a new planetary-cosmic world view described by Ukrainian philosopher Dr Halyna Berehova, recanters the individual in anthropocosmic consciousness, thereby expanding the philosophies of harmony and unity beyond the realms of humanity and the earthly biosphere.

Gill Gatfield UNITY

European Cultural Centre 'Personal Structures'

Palazzo Bembo

Venice Art Biennale

23 April - 27 Nov 2022


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