Invited by Drawing Open Research Collaborative, a trans-disciplinary drawing research community founded in 2016, and Massey University School of Art, Wellington, NZ, we participated in Te Waituhi ā Nuku: Drawing Ecologies 2020, Planning for Climate Change Impacts on Māori Coastal Ecosystems and Economies.
“drawing with” like “walking with” allows the plants to speak for themselves
We were introduced to the Maori walking practice, the “hikoi” as a method for embodied learning, geo-political solidarity, and spatial practice and began inking these ideas to the spirit of Zapatism. Here we “walk with” the community of the Tukorehe Marae, the Kei Uta Collective,and the broader ecologies of Kuku, Horowhenua. From these experiences, we began undertaking “eco-hikoi”, and producing GIS/GPS maps of these walks.
Alongside the maps, we have begun a series of drawings of native New Zealand plants, drawn with pigment from the plants themselves. Blending botanical observation and direct encounter with the plants’ pigment and materiality, “drawing with” like “walking with” allows the plants to “speak for themselves”, in a multi-species, multi-epistemic approach. The blending of the digital, spatial, and the hand-drawn reflects a broad artistic and integrative perspective–that drawing is fundamental to creative practice, including ecological practices,and serves asa visual and conceptual grammar, a set of languages.
Phase 2 Deep South National Science Challenge researches Risk Management Planning for Climate Change Impacts on Māori Coastal Ecosystems and Economies is led by Professors Huhana Smith and Murray Patterson. This Māori-led climate change project is also supported by Māori researchers Aroha Spinks and Moira Poutama.