Atea as a concept is about the ‘coming together of ideas’. It is about joining in a shared discourse of ideas while being aware of your unique worldview.
Shand, Rosa. Flora. 2016. PVC, polyester, various flowers.
In my Dress studio I made a wearable garment based on the ‘Lamp Mygdal‘, a lamp which allows plants to grow without natural light. A discussion with Pip, led me to discover a shared love for long lasting flora. This, we agreed, stemmed from both of us having previously lived in areas surrounded by the sea and nature and was a ‘coping mechanism for living in such an urban environment. In Wellington, both of us live in dark, sterile places. For Pip, this was a windowless bedroom and for me this was an inwards facing flat on the bottom floor of the cube. My garment, constructed from PVC and flowers was about the relationship between humans, our increasingly urbanised world and how encounters with nature can impact our collective identity.
As a female designing with another female in mind, gender was inherently an aspect of my work. Whether or not it was consciously considered at the time of its creation is something I am now questioning. At a glance, the garment is very feminine looking, designed and made by a female, for a female and modelled by a female. The piece itself appears female not only through the form but through the use of flowers which are often associated with femininity, growth and fertility. Following Erna Stachl’s lecture and having read the works of Ani Mikaere and Linda Tuhiwai-Smith, my understanding of the intersection of gender and indigeneity has developed. Previously aware of the patriarchal values of Western society, I had not considered the idea of the impact of colonisation of gender roles on Maori women.