Lines between earth and sky

MANU: Painted beneath what artist Lina Marsh describes as a “lyrical sky” are four species of native birds, the kaitiaki of seed dispersal, that the artist took as her therme for a mural on the side of the Business Applications building.
Picture by Liam Clayton

SOME are reminded of Islamic geometrics in the repeated patterns in artist Lina Marsh’s mural on the Business Applications’ Childers Road wall.

Others see the design of the carbon molecule, or patterns of geometrised light energy as represented in Robert Lawlor’s book Sacred Geometry. Even microbes, which are further up the evolution chain from light and carbon particles, have been seen in patterns.

In fact, the repeated pattern is taken from the openwork of the homely doily. The lacy mat’s Victorian provenance does not feature in Marsh’s concept for the work, which takes as its theme seed dispersal and distribution.

Rather, she finds in them a connection with her mother and grandmother. Marsh is also interested in embroidery and can crochet repeated patterns. She finds in the doily patterns she stencilled on the wall a feminine character that complements the building’s masculine face and the birds.

Manu

“The manu are definitely masculine. They are about seed dispersal. I also wanted to bring in a craft element so the stencil cutting was an extension of that,” she said.

Much of the mural design is an extension of the new direction Marsh has taken in her art work seen in her mixed media sculpture entry in the 2017 Te Ha Art Awards.

“As an artist I was trying to build a visual language,” Marsh said.

“The visual language from the Te Ha work has moved over to the mural.”

Threads that streamed to the floor from a whare outline atop a post in her Te Ha art awards entry, He Tumu Herenga Waka He Taura Herenga Tangata (like the post that secures the waka, so too does the rope that binds the people), reappear in the mural.

“The mural looks at the lines of plant matter but more in linear patterns. I carried on with the thread of root-like patterns and with the idea of connecting colours with plant life.”

Lineage

While the vertical lines might suggest a barcode or DNA sequence the colours are drawn from those in the birds’ plumage, such as the emeralds and blues in the tui, and the yellows and greens in the kotare (kingfisher).

“The lines also connect the sky with the earth. They are like a lineage between earth and sky.”

Threads hanging from the birds’ beaks incorporate the doily patterns in the design.

The overhanging veranda and windows along the building’s wall determined the intervals at which Marsh placed the seed dispersing birds.

Birds are regarded in many cultures as guardians, she said. In this case they are the kaitiaki of seed dispersal.

”The tui is the territorial pollinator. The kotare, the watchful sentry. The cry of the karearea (falcon) is said to foretell the weather. The three cheeky piwakawaka (fantail) are symbols of curiosity and adventure.”

SOME are reminded of Islamic geometrics in the repeated patterns in artist Lina Marsh’s mural on the Business Applications’ Childers Road wall.

Others see the design of the carbon molecule, or patterns of geometrised light energy as represented in Robert Lawlor’s book Sacred Geometry. Even microbes, which are further up the evolution chain from light and carbon particles, have been seen in patterns.

In fact, the repeated pattern is taken from the openwork of the homely doily. The lacy mat’s Victorian provenance does not feature in Marsh’s concept for the work, which takes as its theme seed dispersal and distribution.

Rather, she finds in them a connection with her mother and grandmother. Marsh is also interested in embroidery and can crochet repeated patterns. She finds in the doily patterns she stencilled on the wall a feminine character that complements the building’s masculine face and the birds.

Manu

“The manu are definitely masculine. They are about seed dispersal. I also wanted to bring in a craft element so the stencil cutting was an extension of that,” she said.

Much of the mural design is an extension of the new direction Marsh has taken in her art work seen in her mixed media sculpture entry in the 2017 Te Ha Art Awards.

“As an artist I was trying to build a visual language,” Marsh said.

“The visual language from the Te Ha work has moved over to the mural.”

Threads that streamed to the floor from a whare outline atop a post in her Te Ha art awards entry, He Tumu Herenga Waka He Taura Herenga Tangata (like the post that secures the waka, so too does the rope that binds the people), reappear in the mural.

“The mural looks at the lines of plant matter but more in linear patterns. I carried on with the thread of root-like patterns and with the idea of connecting colours with plant life.”

Lineage

While the vertical lines might suggest a barcode or DNA sequence the colours are drawn from those in the birds’ plumage, such as the emeralds and blues in the tui, and the yellows and greens in the kotare (kingfisher).

“The lines also connect the sky with the earth. They are like a lineage between earth and sky.”

Threads hanging from the birds’ beaks incorporate the doily patterns in the design.

The overhanging veranda and windows along the building’s wall determined the intervals at which Marsh placed the seed dispersing birds.

Birds are regarded in many cultures as guardians, she said. In this case they are the kaitiaki of seed dispersal.

”The tui is the territorial pollinator. The kotare, the watchful sentry. The cry of the karearea (falcon) is said to foretell the weather. The three cheeky piwakawaka (fantail) are symbols of curiosity and adventure.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you for or against New Zealand allowing the option of assisted dying for people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition?