Artist: Graham Bennett
Medium: Tōtara or kauri, pine, steel
Dimensions: 900x200x30mm each
Date: 2021

The initial idea for 'Disrupt', Bennett's latest installation, came from Allen Curnow's verse tragedy, 'The Axe'. An analogy for the colonisation of New Zealand, Curnow located his narrative of destruction on the island of Mangaia in the Cook Islands. The axe is a metaphor for the disruptions brought about by the metal technology and religious ideas of Europeans who arrived in the Pacific.

The consequences of treating nature as something to be colonised is highlighted. The axe heads are made of native kauri and tōtara, and the handles of imported pine. The perforations on the axes depict both Bennett's warning about the impact of human behaviour on the environment, and the clefts in Mangaian adze handles: horizontal, vertical and square cut-outs.

Further work by this artist