Taonga tuku iho, 2021

Commissioned by the Winnipeg Art Gallery for the inaugural Indigenous Art Triennial 2021 tiled Naadohbii: To Draw Water, Taonga tuku iho is a filmic collection of related stories of water. The central story follows a character who unexpectedly inherits an ambiguous container of water without provenance. The film follows the character as he tries to unravel what water ‘is’ by closely observing the nature of water in his regular life: the boiling of water in a jug, the stockpiling of water during lockdown, the fall of rainwater down gutters. These accumulative storylines subtly probe the quandary of ‘what is water?’ that precede questions of care, conservation and use. Entrenched in the context and actions of domestic life, the work proposes that larger global questions of shortages and pollution rely upon knowledge and understandings embedded in our existing, often quotidian relationships to water.

Curated by: Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, Reuben Friend, Director, and Ioana Gordon-Smith, Curator, Pātaka Art + Museum, Wellington, New Zealand; and Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator, South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, First Peoples Department, Melbourne Museum, Museums Victoria, Australia. Kindly supported by Creative New Zealand.

Cinematography: Ian Powell / Sound Design: John Gray / Soundtrack: Ethan Sloan