Travelling Stone

On Sept 9th 2011 I left Aotearoa on a journey – and with me an 8kg mauri stone that would embark on it’s own journey…

But back track a little to April 2011. I had been asked to create a mauri stone to travel to Istanbul for an exhibition Uncontainable, Second Nature – Te Kore Rongo Hungaora. So I returned home to my maunga to choose a stone especially for this journey.

The stone’s origins are Taranaki maunga on the West Coast of the North Island, Aotearoa NZ – gathered from the Waiwakaiho river which runs down the mountain, through the landscape and out to the sea. When I first stepped into the river, it wasn’t long before I saw this stone – it was saying, pick me pick me!

So I walked over to the stone, did a short karakia to the awa and to the area, giving thanks for allowing me to take this stone on a journey and then picked it up and embraced it for it’s next journey.

It was unlike most of the stones I gather from the sea and rivers. This stone was textured and rough, quite weathered and smooth in bits, it had a history, I could tell, there were many stories already within this stone.

And I always wonder, where has this stone come from? How was it formed? What shape was it before it ended up in the river? Who else held this stone like I do now? What energy does it have? Lots of curiosity questions…

So next stop was home to Gisborne and over the next couple of months, the stone would absorb a lot of rain and elements, taking in the East Coast air before embarking on it’s next journey to the Sunshine Coast Australia. 

Floating Land June 2011 – Boreen Pt, Sunshine Coast, Australia was the venue – and what a stunning place this is, a natural biosphere protected and untouched is the best way to describe this place. If there was one place I could live in Australia, it would be here! So beautiful and the space that I would call “home” for the next 10 days, was very spiritual and added to the gentleness and wairua of the workshops that I would run here.

And as you can see in this photo, the mauri stone, held centre attention during my workshops, providing topics for discussion, healing energy and a spirit of curiosity and growth. These children were some of the many that came to experience storytelling, healing and rock painting beside the beautiful Lake Cootharaba at Boreen Pt.

Next stop – back to Gisborne again before heading to Istanbul, Turkey for ISEA 2011. This would be the stone’s longest journey yet!

Turkey – what an amazing place. The journey in Sept 2011 was my longest journey yet away from home. To the other side of the world. Such an ancient history held within the land, stories of the people and amazing architecture that left me in awe while I was there. In fact I spent more time exploring the amazing-ness of Turkey than I did at the conference itself! 

Conferences bore me a bit if what is being spoken about doesn’t engage me. And it either does or it doesn’t. Academia bores me, and most of the conference was from an academic perspective. I did enjoy exhibiting there though and to carry our Māori culture to another land and share this with the people was special.

And so the stone found it’s place within the electronic art that dominated ISEA 2011 – a stone that carries the energy of the land from which it comes and the stories of that land and the lands that it had visited before landing in Turkey.

And after the exhibition was over, the rock hung around in Europe, in Leiden and attended “At Sea” another exhibition.

So current destination of the stone? As far as I am aware, it is still in Europe in Leiden, but who knows where it will be in the coming months. Perhaps I will meet it in Albuquerque for ISEA 2012. September. We will see what happens…

UPDATE – Oct 2013 – this stone is now in Switzerland, moving into the colder months of winter, enjoying the fresh Swissssss air… hmmm… until next time…

Mā te wā,

Jo 🙂

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