Some of the original photographs that were used as a communication document - written on and sent between Dunedin and Ruatoki

Communication Cannels was a project aiming to create conversation and some understanding between the Tūhoe community and wider public audiences through art, a place where some people from Tūhoe could accurately represent their thoughts and feelings to other audiences in Aotearoa.

“In 2009 I made contact with Mihihea Davis of Ruatoki, a great granddaughter of Rua Kenana and travelled to Te Urewera to visit her. The medium format black and white landscape photographs that I took on that visit became a communication document by which ideas have been sent back and forth by mail between Dunedin and Ruatoki.  Mihihea took the photographs to members of her community and asked people to help inform them with written and verbal messages about the histories that those physical places in the photographs represent.”

This project aims to open up a space to create awareness about Tūhoe’s continued history of resistance to colonisation and the injustices that they have suffered by the Crown; from the scorched earth policy, the police raids of 1916 right through to the persecution and lockdown of the entire community in 2007 in the October 15th state terror raids.

I Cried (On the right) was exhibited in Explosive Expression: Creative Resistance to the State Terror Raids of October 2007 Group Exhibition at the Thistle Hall Gallery in Wellington in October 2009.

This group exhibition and art auction raised money for those facing charges.   A photograph of I Cried was also published in a book called Some Justice Political Poems and Lyrics by Ken Vicious and published in 2012 by Rebel Press.