I play with the theme of indigenous preservation, bringing attention to the beautiful things we have carelessly lost and to bring awareness of the importance to protect what we still have. The painting explores protection and vulnerability. The NZ Huia was one of our most prestigious birds and was hunted for its tail feathers. Early European settlers wore the feathers in their hats as a status symbol, the Maori Chiefs wore them in their hair for the same reason. Unfortunately, due to the sudden influx of European settlers and the popularity of the Huia feathers, and also the females beak for jewellery and adornments, the Huia was hunted to extinction through greed, power and status. The last confirmed sighting of a Huia was on 28 December 1907 in the Tararua Ranges. Further credible sightings near Wellington were reported until 1922 and in Te Urewera National Park in the early 1960s.
In the process of protecting that which we have been gifted we ourselves become vulnerable to those who value power, money and status above mother earth herself.