Artwork: Carving Water, Painting Voice

Nakagawa, Kazu (b.1957)
Bowater, Helen (b.1952)
Production date
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Object detail

Installation themed around human migrations - the journeys undertaken by those seeking a new homeland. The project centres on a traditional Niuean canoe, restored and re-imagined by artist Kazu Nakagawa. The craft - an evocation of journeying - is mounted over a bed of carved paddles and rests on a sonic bed, woven out of the stories of migrants speaking and singing in their own tongues. The work was commissioned for, and exhibited at, Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, 2017.

Installation by Kazu Nagakawa with sound composition by Helen Bowater.
Accession number
Museum System ID
Collection type
Maker and role
Nakagawa, Kazu (b.1957): Artist
Bowater, Helen (b.1952): Artist
Media/Material details
Paddles are made of solid timber. They are painted black and have metal rings through them.
Hull is composed of timber and fibreglass (more fragile)
Vitex: 0 - Whole
Fibreglass: 0 - Whole
Flax: 0 - Whole
Rope (unidentified): 0 - Whole
Measurements: (Disassembled)
Hull H 340 x L 5000 x W380mm,
Frame H 100 x L 2100 x W each end is 1300mm however there is an offset of 50-100mm along the length of the frame
Ama H 380 x L 4450 x W 175mm,
Paddles (longest) 2470mm, (widest) 150mm, (largest diameter ring) 260mm
Measurement details
3D objects (HxWxD): H 340 x W 5000 x D 380mm: 1 - hull
3D objects (HxWxD): H 380 x W 4450 x D 175mm: 2 - ama
3D objects (HxWxD): H 2100 x W 1300mm: 3 - frame
Production place and notes
Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland Region, Aotearoa New Zealand
On display?
Not on display


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