Te Urewera has had a turbulent history at the hands of the colonialists trying to impose the will of others from afar on those with close history and kaitiakiship of this land. Many injustices were served.
“Colonization may be state policy, or it may be a private project sponsored by chartered corporations or by associations and individuals. Before colonization can be effected, the indigenous population must be subdued and assimilated or converted to the culture of the colonists; otherwise, a modus vivendi must be established by the imposition of a treaty or an alliance. (www.reference.com)”
The Treaty of Waitangi continues to cause debate within the nation.
Much of this conflict was fresh in my mind as I made this work. The individual motives represented many aspects of this battle; each motive had links to both the Victorian era's predeliction for highly ornate coverup as a distraction for stark reality or unpleasant truths, and the cloak worn in local culture. Closer inspection reveals crossed swords.
The whole came together not only resembling rows upon rows of soldiers but also the conformity of both the Army and Victorian rule in the form of a stylised woven tukutuku pattern, telling a story. The basis of the whole was ferns in the bush around Waikaremoana.