Historic Tuahiwi image graces council wall

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New addition ... Nathan Pohio introduces the image, which now occupies a wall of the council chamber in Rangiora. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

A large photographic reproduction commissioned by the Waimakariri Art Collection Trust has been installed in the Waimakariri District Council chambers.

The work, Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun!, by Nathan Pohio, is a reproduction of a 1905 Canterbury Times photograph recording the British Governor-General, Lord Plunket, and his wife, Lady Plunket, meeting Maori elders at Tuahiwi.

The large image was unveiled by the artist during a ceremony in the council chambers on Tuesday last week. The work extends over most of one wall in the chamber.

It was blessed during the ceremony by Te Maire Tau, of Ngai Tuahuriri.

The work is the fourth known version. The others are all now in permanent collections.

Nathan, a conceptual artist, working in video, photomedia and installation, and also assistant curator at the Christchurch Art Gallery, created the original version of the photograph in 2015.

That year the work was displayed along the Avon River during the Scape Public Art Festival. It was also exhibited at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2016 after it earned Nathan a nomination for a prestigious Walters Prize, and it was also selected for Documenta, a prestigious exhibition of contemporary art held in Germany every five years.

That work returned to Christchurch last year, where it was installed in Little Hagley Park for the most recent Scape Public Art festival during October, and remains at the site displayed in a lightbox.

The two other versions are displayed at the Tuahiwi Marae, the home of Ngai Tuahuriri in North Canterbury, and in the National Gallery of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece.