Taking something of a mini-survey stance, featuring signature works from 2010 to 2023, Lonnie Hutchinson’s From Me to You incorporates a diverse range of media.
Fusing particular motifs (such as kōwhaiwhai, frangipani, and koru) and the personal and political together, this important exhibition reveals and demonstrates the key elements of her work to be the interplay of pattern with light and shadow; drawing as a fundamental of her acclaimed practice; the political and spiritual values and content of the works directly explore cultural and gender narratives including a broad range of historical, social and representational constructs.
In all of the works, the Samoan concept of ‘va’ – the unifying space between places, people and things and interconnection across time – and Māori ‘whakapapa’ which links people to the land, sea and sky, and to the past, the present and future is entirely central to all we see and experience.
Hutchinson uses repeated pattern and motif to express spiritual and cultural values, and her dual Sāmoan and Ngāi Tahu heritage. Each work is further animated by the intrinsic harnessing of shadow to be a key component of what is seen and how. A conversation emerges about materiality and non-materiality, about here and now and then. This plural dialogue between these positive and negative elements explicitly references and unites the fundamental practice and traditions of Polynesian and Māori carving and design.