Return from Erasure (2021-23) is an ongoing multimedia performance work and installation and a creative response to what has happened in the past and what can happen in the future to regenerate land, place, identity and relations.
The landscape used in the work was filmed on location at Owhiro Bay, on the south coast of the North Island, of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Iwi associated with the region include Nagit Mamoe, Te Atiawa, Ngai Tara, Ngati Toa, Ngati Ira and Rangitane.
For the greater part of the 20th century privatised extractive industry quarried sand and shingle from the area resulting in severe ecological damage.
The land was purchased by Toi Pōneke, Wellington Council in 2000 and regeneration of diverse coastal vegetation continues, honouring tangata whenua (people of the land), under the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitiangi (1840).
Return from Erasure was initially exhibited as a short video at the Crevice Communities Exhibition (2021) online. In 2022, a performance work by the same name was developed in residence at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists in Sydney, Australia and performed at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery NSW. Research behind the work was presented at Charles Sturt University's Creative Practice Circle Symposium (2022).
Return from Erasure continues to evolve and question past and present relations between people, place, media and perception, through deep listening, performance and mediated sound and image.
photo: James Farley