Peata Larkin’s work operates in a space between binary constructions – Māori/Pākehā, past/present, art/science, matter/spirit – weaving cultures and spheres of knowledge together into new hybrid forms. Between Two Pou extends Larkin’s exploration of her dual Māori (Tūhourangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue) and Pākehā ancestry in the creation of new work combining painting, textiles and light, in which the act of painting and the symbolism of weaving take centre stage. In Between Two Pou Larkin cites raranga and tukutuku patterns and their use as mnemonic devices in traditional Māori storytelling. Acting as containers for knowledge and wisdom, these patterns trace tribal lineages, and continue to hold the memories, stories and teachings of ancestors into our present world .
Larkin’s body of work also demonstrates a longstanding interest in contemporary technologies and digital networks. She co-opts the visual display strategies of science, medicine and digital data, and her works often resemble genealogical charts, binary codes, pixels and computer circuit boards. In this exhibition the artist references developments in genealogical science, where the ‘POU domain’ acts as a bipartite DNA-binding structure.
Larkin’s work weaves a complex tapestry of contemporary culture in Aotearoa. Referring to the cross-cultural histories of textiles, the artist asserts, ‘weaving is our DNA’.