TE AO MOEMOEA /THE LAND OF DREAMING BY KIRSTEN LYTTLE
This project explores issues of materiality for Pacific diaspora customary artists living outside of their ancestral homeland. How do diaspora weave in a foreign land when their traditional plants and materials are not available? Can new technology, such as digital photography, be used in customary, Indigenous ways?
The title Te Ao Moemoea/The Land of Dreaming references Kirsten Lyttle’s vantage point as a Māori-Australian, photographer and weaver. Māori weaving has become an important part of her arts practice, as it is a link and connection to her Māori heritage and ancestors. This project attempts to make digital photographic processes and production allied with Indigenous methods of making (not just as a conceptual representation or thematically, but to make the process of digital art making, in itself, Indigenous). For Māori, the highest prestige garment that can be woven is the Kākahu Korowai, or feather cloak. This series of photographic prints shows detailed and close-up images of Kākahu Korowai (feather cloaks) samplers that she has woven in which all of the feathers are from Australian native birds (such as emus).
Kirsten Lyttle a Melbourne-based multi-media artist of Māori descent. Her Iwi (tribe) is Waikato, tribal affiliation is Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui A Whiro. She was born in Sydney, spent her childhood in Wellington, New Zealand and grew-up in Melbourne, where she is still based.
Kirsten Lyttle completed a Fine Art Degree (Photography) with Distinction, RMIT University (2008) and was awarded a Master of Fine Art with Distinction, RMIT University (2013). Currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University, Burwood, she also teaches photography in the School of Community and Creative Arts, Deakin University. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including: Indonesian Contemporary Art Network Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Galleria 291 Est. Rome, Italy; and Oedipus Rex Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand. In 2015, she was artist in residence at University of Lethbridge, Indigenous Residency Gushul Studio, Blairmore, Canada.