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Inhabit, 2015

Exhibition at Little River Gallery with sculptor David Lloyd 31st Oct-25th Nov 2015

Joanna Fieldes – Artist’s Statement

In this selection of oil paintings I have combined New Zealand landscapes with flora, fauna and still life objects in ways that suggest alternative subtexts to the ubiquitous stories of our colonial past.  These works explore, from my Pakeha perspective, the colonization of New Zealand.  Central to my theme is the lasting impact that European explorers, early colonial settlers and those that followed have had on the indigenous environment and inhabitants of this corner of the South Pacific.  I depict meetings, greetings, and confrontations between colonizing ‘guests’ and their reluctant hosts, juxtaposed with subsequent transformations of the land.  Introduced by our colonial forebears, invasive pests such as rabbits, gorse and magpies that we now endeavour to contain form a recurrent feature in these paintings.