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Hangman (2019)

A recycled plastic bag of Tāmaki estuary water, C-stand is 2000mm height, a chair

Estuaries are nursery systems for any number of natural habitats. Tāmaki Estuary, the third largest water body in New Zealand, has suffered significant systematic contamination from heavy metals because of anthropogenic pollutants - dairy farming, urbanisation and industrialisation with subsequent impact on its natural ecosystems. In contrast, New Zealand is promoted internationally as “100% pure” and people applaud our green country with its vast landscapes. 

The liquid in the recycled plastic bag hanging from the C-stand was harvested from the middle estuary, Panmure – a location beautifully paved and with signs, car park and trekking track. When harvested the water had a strange smell and there were bubbles on the surface. 

This water installation is constantly changing colour due to decaying and thriving microbes. Some tiny creatures have hatched and they are swimming in the bag. The chair has connotations of hangman. 

Whether we fall into one or the other, there may be common thinking about a world too rich that we would all share. 

The viewer is invited to sit down on the chair. 

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