Tui Slater Conceptual Artist


New Zealand Landscape Theme

The landscape of NZ - fantastic geology but it is just a small part of the larger picture here. I believe our master artists, writers, our movers and shakers such as Lindauer, Wollaston, Goldie, Mansfield, Frame, etc. were important in how NZ functions and looks today. They left us valuable records of how we probably lived, worked and played over the last centuries. These images and ideas - their "Kodak moments" - could have become the gospel of the day for people on how to live like a New Zealander.

I search for items , images and ideas from early Aotearoa, play with them, expose them, show them off for what they are, or not - show how they fitted into the growing up phase of our teenage years.

There is nothing quite like tearing up sheets of metal (that was maybe not long ago still stuck in a vein underground) with your bare hands then beating it back into submission with a powerful hammer - thinking all the time of the wrenched up mountains of NZ.

Landscape 2. a painting, drawing, photograph, etc. depicting natural scenery. 3. a genre of including such pictures. (pg.874. Collins English Dictionary third edition, 1991)

NZ - dramatic, green, so difficult to capture, changing ever so slowly, baring the odd landslide or eruption is often thought. But for me the landscape is constantly on the move - tectonic plates at force, conflict, concessions, venting, calming tides, as geology aside, I am talking about its people, pleasures and the proof of our land.

Bit like believing everything you "learn" from the Internet I guess. More recently home grown movies, street art, music, etc have added to the word of the gospel - this is how we are, even documentary makers are not immune to showing their bias I have come to find.

I suppose that I am doing much the same with my work here. Of research - I am constantly looking for sights that attract my eye, while also listening for sounds of life e.g.: banana slugs eating mushrooms, or people mincing their words over omelettes.

Although, instead of using oil paint, charcoal, or film, I take a tactile approach using materials that are part and parcel of the stories and pictures, landscapes, and portraits of NZ as I see it. Even if I do wear rose tinted lenses at times.

The landscape, my landscape, our landscape. With intonations? Definable?

Better a landscape of mixed emotions and relations than a portrait of non - parsley, sage, linseed and time - Aotearoa 2009


Pure "Tuiana" - my parody on Kiwiana. Tuiana is my passion; observing and toying with New Zealand's iconography. I wonder who it is that defines our culture, what our gender and associated roles should be?

The majority of my present work is based on one of two themes:
Black Singlet
• New Zealand Landscape
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