I began this work following a family history trip with my sister and my daughter to Riverton in Southland. Standing on the beaches and searching graveyards in the midst of a southerly storm, we envisioned the lives of our ancestor women who came to the whaling station on the Aparima River in the 1830s. Stories that survive from this time come to us in small sharp fragments speaking of strength and steadfastness softened by my mother’s nostalgia for a summer place of beaches where she spent her childhood.
In some pieces I have worked in a direct way leaving surfaces raw and leaving the marks made while working the pieces intact. In others I have considered how the rocks are sculptured by sand and wind where they stand on the land. I prefer to leave the pieces unglazed using only oxides and slips as I enjoy the tactile nature of exposed clay. Clay is of the land and I love how the process of forming and firing pays homage to its origins.