Walk on fallow lands, 2015
In this public art event Walk on fallow lands, Angela Kilford presented a series of 10 guided walks exploring the city streets surrounding Toi Pōneke Gallery. Each day participants of the walks were also invited to contribute to the work unfolding in the gallery space. In this work stories made about a place or object are explored and contested.
Below is the Press release for the event.
"Toi Pōneke Press
Walk on fallow lands
Discovering how the New Zealand Company had made a promise in 1839 to set aside one tenth of all land purchases in Port Nicholson for Māori, inspired Wellington artist Angela Kilford to explore the city streets and urban plots surrounding Toi Pōneke Gallery. The colonial Government had adopted the principle initiated by the New Zealand Company but
because of the high demand for town acres, the native reserves were absorbed into the growing settlement and Port Nicholson became the bustling city we know today as Wellington.
The idea of regeneration and fallowing is explored through a series of walks, identifying and unearthing the many layers of history within the city taking in areas of Te Aro that are currently being transformed. The reasons for change in the city are many varied, however some patterns in development can be identified. By walking the same paths every day with different participants for the duration of the work, the history of the place is unravelled step by step to allow suppressed memories to emerge, while also creating new stories with participants.
Visiting sites of commercial regeneration and construction projects involving profound financial investment counters a traditional fallowing process where land is left to regenerate. The commercialisation of sites observed in the walks is then explored further in the gallery by looking at treasured objects that have also become commodified. It could be asked whether the stories we tell about an object or place need to be historically recorded in order to be relevant to our sense of place or belonging. It is this question that links the stories explored through the walks to the story unfolding in the gallery space.
Working alongside Kilford for the second time is emerging artist and photographer Elijah Winter. As well as acting as a walking and research companion, Winter will be helping to create the work within the Toi Pōneke gallery whilst Kilford is walking with participants. Walk on fallow lands is Kilford’s third public art event since completing her MFA at Massey University in 2014. Her practice seeks to investigate memory, memorialisation and the landscape. Recent projects demonstrate a keen interest in contested memories within specific sites and seek to elevate oral histories as a means of recording the past. Kilford’s exploration of myth within the construction of a national identity challenges the notion of official histories and reminds us that identity is an evolving concept."
Sample of images made in the gallery space by Aliyah Winter. The objects were brought into the gallery by walk participants. The images were then printed onto cards and gifted back to the participants.