The Piano, by Jane Campion is one of my all-time favourite movies. I am not just drawn to the story line but the setting, a rough and rugged New Zealand coastline that is untamed in its beauty. Of course, the films first impression is of a love story, but to me it is a very strong discussion about the masculine and the feminine and how the manliest of situations and things is at some point inflicted with the feminine. Instinct prevails, men cecum to the woman’s touch, the way in which they do things and the imposed changes they make to the environment and its objects. Likewise, although I see it as the woman doing the inflicting and the man as the pillar, a strong man’s environment will not be completely overpowered by a woman’s prowess. It is this space I see between the masculine and the feminine that I am searching.
Pioneering days of New Zealand seems a good place to start. From reading about the women who first came to New Zealand and the hardships they endured, in a male dominant environment rich in native and foreign surroundings, I am searching for an aesthetic or a feeling that is deep within me that has not quite surfaced before now. The use of minimal implements and materials sourced from the local, in this pioneering era, is also stimulating my own inherent materials.
I am naturally attracted to masculine looking objects, ones that look heavy, strong, and tough, yet I am a woman and the touch of my hand does otherwise.