8 - 30 May 2021
Sefton Rani lives and works as a full time artist in Piha. He has always been drawn to the stimulus of wabi sabi, the Japanese aesthetic described as the “beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”.
This sensibility is integrated with his Cook Island heritage and his experiences working in a paint factory where paint became an object rather than a decorative coating. Sefton’s work is primarily created with the use of skins of dried paint which are tempered with combustion or chemicals. Patinas are actively encouraged and the finished works often utilise text, natural pigments or found objects.
The result is work that Sefton describes as “urban tapa”. The concept is to acknowledge the art of Polynesia and traditional tapa cloth and then re-energise it with modern materials, methods and motifs that strive to extend tapa’s possibilities.
The body of work in ‘Ara-nui-a-Toi : The Great Road of Toi’ focuses on the journey of Toi and his voyage to Aotearoa as part of the great fleet in 1150 AD, and the wave of migration in the 1950’s and 60’s from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand. However, as the year progressed and lockdowns came into effect, the focus evolved to also encompass the idea that all migration in and out of New Zealand has effectively stopped due to Covid-19.