Cathy Carter | Wai Wai Wai
Wai Wai Wai is inspired by concerns about climate change and our evolving relationship with bodies of water as we enter the Anthropocene. The work explores bodies of water as physical, cultural, and unique environmental ‘landscapes’ and investigates our complex psychological relationship to water through different perspectives and geographical locations.
In exploring the concept of Fissures (Auckland Photography Festival’s 2019 theme), Carter also draws on Barnett Newman’s post-WWII zip paintings. William M Boot wrote that Barnett Newman believed that “old standards of beauty were irrelevant: the sublime was all that was appropriate, an experience of enormity which might lift modern humanity out of its torpor.” These zips are metaphorical fissures. They allude to the reality that all present moments are connected to, haunted by, or are foreshadowing abrupt or radical change that cannot be contemplated within our current frame of reference. As we stand in the midst of our planet’s sixth major extinction event, we can reflect upon the fact that 99.99% of anything that has ever existed on Earth is extinct – and yet for our brief time we have an opportunity to join our consciousness to the much larger consciousness of all human, non-human, extinct and non-extinct being.
Carter graduated from A.U.T with a Masters of Art (Hons) in 2013 and has been a regular finalist in the Wallace Art Awards, the international HeadOn Portrait Prize and the Walker and Hall Waiheke Art Prize. Carter’s work has regularly been exhibited in across New Zealand and Overseas and is held in a number of distinguished public, private and corporate collections including The Wallace Arts Trust and the Parliamentary Art Collection, in New Zealand.