What happened to the maunga?
Featured porfolio by Sara (Hera) Orme
Essay by Matariki Williams for PhotoForum
Hera Orme’s (Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa) photos don’t allow a drive-through experience of Texas. They compel the viewer to stop, to look. When I did this, what I saw was beyond the fleeting view I generally experience through the frame of a car window. An example of this is the photograph, which I admit is one of my favourites, Pūtauaki looming (2014), of a clothesline in the evening light. It is strung along the long side of a house, and Pūtauaki is visible in the background. The colours are rich and varied, and reflect my assertion that the shades of Aotearoa are much more complex than the ‘clean and green’ of a Tourism New Zealand ad. Aotearoa is a veritable palette of the deep browns and reds of our whenua, and seeing these hues in the shadow of Pūtauaki, bring me to one of the recurring themes I see in Hera’s work, which is of the whenua itself.