Nakunaku


Rakiura, Murray River

Solo exhibition by Sandy Wakefield. Presented as part of the ​Tamaki Makaurau Matariki Festival 2018 programme.

Saturday 30 June

Strange Haven, 281 Karangahape Rd Tamaki Makaurau 5:30PM

Saturday 14 July

Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St Ōtautahi 6:00PM

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1948688945441391/ https://www.rurumedia.com/ http://www.matarikifestival.org.nz/2018/nakunaku/


Oraka Bay, Ōraka-Aparima.

Ko Ranginui kei runga Ko Papatūānuku kei raro

Ko ngā tangata kei waenganui


Tihei mauri ora!

Tuia ki te rangi Tuia ki te whenua Tuia ki te Moana Tuia te here tangata E rongo te pō, e rongo te ao.



Ngā mihi ki a tātou katoa ki te wā nei o te tau hou me te wā takurua hoki. Nau mai, nau ake, takahia te one ki Rakiura i tēnei pō.

Our ancestors established thousands of years ago that what happens in the heavens is reflected on earth and in the vast oceans. The planets, moon, sun and stars guide us year by year indicating how we can live in harmony with our environment.


NAKUNAKU : to be reduced to fragments, to be digested, to be disconnected/disjointed.


Using new and found media, Sandy Wakefield has interpreted and recontextualised her personal journey to the islands of Rakiura (also acknowledged as Te punga o Te Waka a Maui), the surrounding moana and the celestial universe above at sites specific.

It is a journey from disconnection to reconnection, and ultimately to a deeper spiritual resonance and acknowledgement when standing in the place of her tūpuna.


The title ‘Nakunaku’ was chosen by Wakefield to communicate the initial relationship she had to Rakiura at the project’s inception.

Mātauranga Māori is the comprehension of the visible and the invisible existing in the universe.

During the film shoot, the colonial scars of deforestation, the cement ruins of whale stations on the shoreline and quarries that chip away at ancestral maunga is seen with the naked eye. The projected images serve as a backdrop to the invisible.


Wakefield interviewed Rakiura women that live and breathe island life as the chosen storytellers in her soundscapes. Bird calls and te reo will be woven into the aural texture to represent the “invisible”; provoking the deeper spirituality we have with our natural environment.



Looking south from Maunga Motupohue

This project is essentially a Māori journey and return to whakapapa, to Ngāi Tahu tribal links, and to illustrate the spiritual connection we have when standing in the place of our ancestors, looking to the Heavens we descended from.

In creating ​Nakunaku, Wakefield draws from influences as diverse as mid-20th Century sci-fi films, the audio collages of sound pioneers Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram, contemporary minimal electronic and industrial music from the UK underground, and pūrākau of Tāwhiti-mātea.

Nakunaku is presented as two performance pieces comprised of video and live audio - paying homage to the seen and the unseen, repressed memories and forgotten histories.


“Interconnectedness is a big theme of this work. I share this whakapapa with my whanau and wider whanaunga. This project will reach out to them as they will see themselves reflected in this project along with me. By fragmenting and recontextualizing sound recordings at sites specific around Rakiura, I seek to create a new understanding of ourselves as tangata whenua.” - Sandy Wakefield