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Claim to Clay II, 2011

Joanna Fieldes -  Artist's Statement

As an artist, I see paint as a way to articulate my thoughts and ideas about the land and society I live in. My paintings are a vehicle for stimulating conversation about issues that affect us all, particularly the role of New Zealand's colonial past and how it still impacts on today and into the future.

The works in Claim to Clay – Take 2 are a continuation of my exploration of New Zealand's settlement. The unfolding evolution, adoption, adaption and merging of the various cultures, including the flora and fauna that have settled or established themselves in this country.

There is a strong element of storytelling and satire in these scenes, which juxtapose the 'imported' with the 'indigenous'. The recurrent use of ceramic vessels dominates my work - acting both as containers of colonial culture and as the colonizers/colonized themselves, bearing links to the past and the future.

I am ever mindful of those early settlers - including my own direct ancestors – whose attempt to re-create a "Little England" on these shores, has become part of our colonial history. They came to settle; farm and garden, and some to even preach Christianity, bringing with them the seeds of our future.