Te Tauranga / The Landing / Le Taulaga: Jade Townsend

We welcome Jade Townsend as the first Artist in Residence of Vā Moana's rotating gallery, Te Tauranga / The Landing / Le Taulaga. 'Te Moananui-a-Kiwa' (2021) was held in the threshold of Objectspace earlier this year (a threshold is much like a landing page, nē?). It seems appropriate to usher you into this space — our new website — with a work by tangata whenua; a work that honours our great connecting ocean. Read more about Jade's practice of collecting debris along shorelines and 'Te Moananui-a-Kiwa' here.

Jade Townsend (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a visual artist and storyteller working at the intersection of her Māori, Pākehā and British heritage. She describes it as a “non-fixed duality that ebbs and flows with contradictory cultural forces every day. My wairua – my spirit – connects to many seemingly disparate fields.” She was born and raised in Aramoho, Whanganui before moving to Huyton, Liverpool, United Kingdom where she lived as a teenager. Townsend’s exposure to a wide range of accents, dialects, regional slang, folktale and pūrākau made her aware of the limitations of translation and cultural hybridity as a completely transparent process. For Townsend, her cultural identity forms in the non-translatable, the left-over and residual aspects of herself for which there is no interpretative counterpoint in relation to the other.

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