Kua roa nei te tangata e whakataurite ana i āna mahi angitu ki te kakenga o tētahi maunga ki tōna keokeonga, he tairitenga mō te toa, he wā e tika ana kia puta ake te kīwaha, ‘Haramai te toki’.
Kua apaapatia ēnei tūmomo whakaaro rangatiratanga o iwi kē ki ngā ariā whakapono nā te mea ko te keokeonga o te maunga te wāhi e tūtaki ai te tangata ki te Atua. Koinei hoki te taumata okioki o te pora o Noah, te wāhi i whakangungua ai a Aperahama, te wāhi hoki i whakahautia ai a Mohi ki ngā Whakahau Tekau.
I te marama o Hui-tanguru i te tau 2015 i waiho e mātou ko tōku tuakana me tana tāne tō mātou motokā i te teihana Erewhon, ka kotahi atu mātou ki te ara ki te takiwā e kīia nei ko Adams Wilderness ki te mania kōpaka, ki te Garden of Eden. E iwa kiromita te whāroa o te mānia kōpaka, hukarere hoki Garden of Eden, e rua mano mita tana tairanga i te whenua. Kei paku kō atu o te wehenga matua o Ngā Tiritiri- o-te- Moana te mānia kōpaka nei e noho ana. E kāpīpiti ana ki te Garden of Allah, ā, koinei ētahi o ōna takiwā e whai ake nei: Eve’s Rib, Cain’s Glacier, Angel col, Devil’s Backbone, Great Unknown.
He mea whakawhanake tēnei whakaaturanga ataata, I thought I would of climbed more mountains by now, i ngā whakakitenga e whakaatairangatia ana i tā Hugh MacDonald kiriata This is New Zealand, hei whakanano i ngā whakaaro koroniara, whakapono, kokoro, taioreore anō hoki mō tō tātou whenua kua roa nei e whakaarohia ana e ngā tāngata o Aotearoa.
‘Me pēhea tātou ka waiata ai i te waiata a Ihowā i te whenua tauhou?’ - Ngā Waiata 137:4
Mountain climbing is the oldest metaphor in the book for success, an analogy for conquering, a punch the sky, kind of fuckyeah triumph.
Layered on top of these colonial notions of domination is the religious rhetoric that settled with it, because it’s the mountaintop where men meet God. It’s where Noah’s ark rests, where Abraham was tested and where Moses received the 10 commandments.
In February 2015 my sister, her partner and I left our car at Erewhon Station and headed towards the Adams Wilderness Area to the Garden of Eden Ice Plateau. A 9 kilometre stretch of gentle rolling snow and ice at an elevation of 2000 metres, the Garden of Eden is just west of the main divide, in the heart of the Southern Alps. It is adjacent to the Garden of Allah and features such names as Eve’s Rib, Cain’s Glacier, Angel col, the Devil’s Backbone and the Great Unknown.
I thought I would of climbed more mountains by now is a moving image work that builds upon the iconic imagery seen in Hugh MacDonald’s This is New Zealand to question colonial, religious, patriarchal and utopian landscape ideologies implicit in New Zealand.
‘How can we sing the Lord’s song, in a strange land?’ - Psalm 137:4