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Selves (Martha)

Digitally rendered photoprint series on satin gloss paper
800 x 1200 mm each

Selves (Martha), detail, 2022.

The work Selves (Martha) references the last known wild kaikōmako Manawa Tāwhi, a lone female tree, which was found in 1945 on the side of a cliff on Great Island (Manawa Tāwhi) north of Cape Reinga. It survived by chance, with all others destroyed by goats introduced by colonial settlers in the 1890s. Through the work of plant biologists and the people of Ngāti Kuri, numerous kaikōmako have been cloned from this remaining plant -initially through propagation, then through artificially induced seed germination from the resulting saplings. This resulted in the emergence of a tree capable of self-fertilization in the 1980s, which scientists named ‘Martha’. Each image in this series is derived from a photogrammetry model of a kaikōmako I photographed at the Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangarei. The process is imperfect, with the digital program meshing images together and filling in missing information through approximation.


Installation at Whitecliffe MFA & BFA(Hons) Graduating Exhibition, Auckland, 2022.

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