Gill Gatfield

Zealandia (At Home)
limited edition framed print on archival paper
42 x 34 in.

In a tableau vivant, ‘Zealandia (At Home)’, a primal abstract figure emerges from an untouched rainforest in Aotearoa New Zealand. This surreal eco-system encapsulates the fragile beauty and watery origins of the newly discovered 8th Continent of the world: Zealandia, a vast submerged landmass with small Islands rising from the Pacific. The untamed scene embodies a sense of the whenua (land/country) treasured by indigenous Māori and colonized by European settlers who also formulated a classical icon named Zealandia – the daughter of Britannia, a symbol of the nascent colonial nation, and trope of female stereotypes.

Cloaked in a rare ancient stone from the mountains of New Zealand and re-imagined in futuristic form, a new Zealandia rises like a mythical figure touching the mist. With out-stretched arms and feet grounded in the earth, this graceful yet powerful X-figure presents new ratios that re-write the ‘perfect proportions’ and ideals fixed by Da Vinci’s Renaissance ‘Vitruvian Man’. Carved as a chromosome X, the genetic blueprint universal to all, this new model celebrates an inclusive humanity and heralds change. Like a totem or siren, at one with nature, ‘Zealandia (At Home)’ advances new directions for the protection and advancement of people and land.

artist’s website

© Gill Gatfield