At Jacket 2 – Artists across another terrain: Non-Kiwi interpretations of Kiwi poetry


Vaughan Rapatahana’s full article here


As promised in the previous commentary, in these variegated tangents away from the vast soft white underbelly of New Zealand poetry, I here focus on two non–New Zealanders and their valuable and vitally different representations of Kiwi poets and their mahi, or work. One is French, one is American; both have been keenly involved in publishing or producing New Zealand poems for quite some time now. Both are visual artists. Alphabetically, I now approach them — America to France.

David Kelly-Hedrick is an artist who works with Kiwi (and others’) words and transforms them into quite brilliant tree/fence/free-range poetic sculptures.

Describe what you do in terms of depicting Kiwi poems (i.e. written by NZ poets) via your tree sculptures (that is, the physical outdoor depictions).

I gather scrap pieces of wood, often pieces that have washed up in our harbors and along our beaches, and I router words and lines of great verse and then paint them in bright acrylic colors. I place these lines in organized art installations or leave them out in public locations. I wish to lift and place poetry in surprising places. I want it to last a while, to fare all right in the weather. I want to install these wood planks and let them sing with new art. I started nearly ten years ago with an installation in a Botanical Garden in the States and have continued from there. In Dunedin, New Zealand, I collaborated with the poet Loveday Why on a Wild Lines installation as part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival.





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