Waitohi ki tai, Waitohi ki uta (2020)

Angela Kilford

Te Whanau A Kai, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu

Kilford was inspired by the whakapapa of Kauri and Parāoa (Sperm Whales). The artwork, Waitohi ki tai Waitohi ki uta connects the land with water and acts as a bridge to the other artworks situated on the same wall, the spine of the building – Whetūrangi by Maureen Lander and He Raukura by Matthew McIntrye Wilson.

Kilford’s design is centred around the idea that within Māori whakapapa, Kauri and Parāoa (Sperm Whale) are brothers. To research this whakapapa Kilford went to Waipoua Forest in Northland to talk to experts from Te Roroa about the trees and the whakapapa.

Bringing together these two brothers – giants of the ocean and of the forest – references the story of Kauri and Parāoa when they resided together in the forest.  Kauri and Parāoa may well live together again in this Anthropocene era if sea levels continue to rise and meet the forest.  This whakapapa is fitting too given the architectural inspiration for Waitohi as a forest clearing.

Angela Kilford’s inspiration comes from Māori concepts and knowledge. She explores the whakapapa of local ecology and the lesser known connections between living and non-living entities.  Kilford is an independent artist and designer and currently works at Toi Rauwhārangi Massey College of Creative Arts, Wellington.