Walking with letters: Michael Parekowhai, John Reynolds, John Pule

This article looks at the recent works of New Zealand artists Michael Parekowhai, John Pule and John Reynolds to explore notions of identity through text and image relations. Parekowhais sculptural piece The Indefinite Article spells out I AM HE in an ironic critique of Colin McCahon and goes further through wordplay to cement a link between the word, identity and the complexities of translation. Reynolds Cloud comprised of nearly 7,000 white canvases transcribed with words from Harry Orsmans Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English and acts to illuminate New Zealands separate identity and regional diversity within a worldwide community of English speakers. Stories of migration, of dispossession, of alienation characterise the work of John Pule. Similar to Parekowhai and Reynolds, Pule deploys words to multiply meanings and confound interpretation or translation.

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