Te Hā o te Marama: Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa

Becky Hemus reflects on Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa's exhibition Te Hā o te Marama at Sanderson.

Date 8 August 2021 Text Becky Hemus  Photography Courtesy of the author

Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa, Te Ha O Te Marama. Installation view, Sanderson, Tāmaki Makaurau, August 2021.

Within the gallery space is jettisoned.
Dark pellets of lifeboat like footholds for my hands,
I see it all the more obliquely I stand.

Taepa and Kaan met many years ago, and reconnected through being serendipitously in the same place.
When asked where Taepa was, and would he like to collaborate, the answer is I am here, and yes.
The pair were both in Dunedin, a length away, the distance of a few stones thrown and carried by the wind. They had not known this until then.

Taepa’s ceramics are rich.
Taepa’s ceramics are of the earth, clay that has been coiled and pinched.
Clay that has been borrowed and weighted and waits,
To sink into the body it once came from. 

Slits in the earth are painted with vertical flicks, kicking out from the surface and joining the boats that skim. They jut out, if only visually, surrounding layers awash with sweeping lines that penetrate within. 

When the moon is seen from a certain vantage point, then sky and water and land are pulled like mud.
When oil sits on water it is not easily mixed. Kaan has painted these fissures thick to stand their ground. He has painted them atop, shadows and cracks an indelible sound.

Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa, Te Ha O Te Marama. Installation view, Sanderson, Tāmaki Makaurau, August 2021.

Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa, Te Ha O Te Marama. Installation view, Sanderson, Tāmaki Makaurau, August 2021.

Simon Kaan, 06-21, 2021, ink and oil on board, 1350 x 1050 mm.

Simon Kaan, 07-21, 2021, ink and oil on board, 1350 x 1050 mm.

Simon Kaan, 05-21 (blood moon), 2021, ink and oil on board, 1350 x 1050 mm.

Simon Kaan, 03-21, 2021, ink and oil on board, 1350 x 1050 mm.

Simon Kaan and Wi Taepa, Te Ha O Te Marama. Installation view, Sanderson, Tāmaki Makaurau, August 2021.

Wi Taepa, Putangirua Pinnacles II, 2021, clay, 155 x 120 mm.

Wi Taepa, Punga Nui, 2021, clay, 300 x 200 mm.

RELATED READING

sanderson

Timeless Vessels

Julie Cromwell sculpts timeless vessels that explore the materiality of clay through forms inspired by antiquity. We sat down with Julie to discuss her practice, alongside her exhibition with Sanderson at the Auckland Art Fair.

SEE MORE

Subscribe to The Art Paper in print here