Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
4.

The Canoe that Walked on Land

by


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The land where I connect to is commonly known as Hongi’s Track. We know this place as Te Ara o Hinehopu (The Path of Hinehopu). This is where the warrior Hongi Hika and his war party carried their waka (canoes) across the land from Lake Rotoehu to the eastern shores of Lake Rotoiti. From Lake Rotoiti they paddled their waka up the Ohau channel and attacked the Te Arawa people on Mokoia Island. Mokoia Island is an impenetrable stronghold and never thought it could be invaded - but they never knew that waka could be transported over land, the feat which Hongi Hika accomplished.
—Lewis Gardiner

The idea was derived from the story I heard in Aotearoa about walking the large waka across the land to invade territories by river.
—Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Collaboration for the Fire & Water: Pacific Visions in Glass and Jade exhibition, 2007.

Collaborations between great artists are historically rare, despite frequent attempts and enthusiastic interest to bring technical skills and artistic chemistry together. In the end, it often seems that personal careers, distance, and other issues make these projects too difficult to realize. What makes this particular collaboration even more remarkable is that the two artists are geographically in different hemispheres — almost at polar opposites of the world.