Peata Larkin has surged to national significance in a short space of time, having pioneered a way of making which is unique and with her style and methods already fully formed.
Her language is that of geometric abstraction and pattern deeply informed by Maori culture. Her paintings “explore the connections between pointillist painting, Maori weaving patterns and digital technology to look at issues of identity, cultural equilibrium and visual complexities …. Her works … are dense with coloured blobs of acrylic paint applied thickly into an open weave canvas. Up close, these coloured patterns look like chromosome maps or the impressionist painting of Seurat and one is aware of the works morphing between macro and micro depictions of the world. This linking of history, art history and science within a diagrammatic format highlights the way we often describe the world through diagrams … There is an obvious presence of the digital world with allusions to pixilation, the DNA maps of science and medicine, and mimicry of computer screens. These contemporary aspects of design and discovery are linked with traditional patterns.” (1).
Patikitiki Connect explores the flounder pattern in a series of inter-related paintings and lightboxes. Larkin also references in this series the astrological star ‘Patikitiki’ used by Maori to navigate the seven great canoes to New Zealand.
The works have sculptural characteristics, explore real and illusory space and establish remarkable optical dynamics. Line and dot hover in black space while texture and physical presence directly challenge the conventional two-dimensional construct of a painted surface.
1. John Daly-Peoples, “Morphing the World,” National Business Review, 20 April 2007, p.47