Union JACKnSLAVE (2011)
Graphite on paper
The plastic bag is an analogy for the idea of a treaty.
The function of the plastic bag is not new; but the material was introduced. It is functional, but has limitations. It is flexible but easily manipulated and used to cause harm.
The plastic bag presents a significant environmental hazard and takes 1000 years on average to break down. Alternatives are becoming increasingly popular.
The term ‘jack’ in urban slang can be used to mean ‘to steal or take from an unsuspecting person’. I have long been interested in ideas of nationhood and power. The Union Jack marks the colonial empire – a system built on power, domination and privilege.
This work has been made for an upcoming exhibition to commemorate Waitangi Day called TREATY ISSUES curated by Gabrielle Belz for Nathan Homestead, Manurewa, South Auckland (28 January – 19 February)