This series was created at the invitation of Chris and Sam Ludbrook to observe the family’s one hundred and fifty years association with the land near Ohaeawai known as TupeTupe.
My initial response was to imagine the terrain as it might have looked before the advent of the human touch, the small marks made upon it by Maori and Pakeha, missionaries and farmers of Waimate North, Ohaeawai and Pakaraka.
Four acrylic works suggest a wild landscape of volcanic cones, lava fields, streams and springs. Then, viewed from a distance the buildings appear just as they would have emerged, separated between puriri stands and rocky contours and finally, a few compositions in which smaller domestic objects were superimposed in the picture space. Thus the collection evolved in a manner parallel to the actual settlement of the Ludbrook family.
It is important to me that an idea and thought process is present in the evolution of a painting. It is not simply a process of reproducing what is visible, but revealing the familiar as an invitation to viewers to resume their own experience in slightly more depth. To commemorate the exhibition and the event it honours, this catalogue has been published to include a map and two recent photographs I have taken at Tupe Tupe.
David Barker, March 2010