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.