Generation Housing NZ Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Daniel Twiss
Artist talk: Wednesday 30 August, 12pm
In 2016 Daniel and I moved back to New Zealand to have our son. We moved into my childhood home with my parents who live in a state house, amongst other state houses in an area which has increasingly become less comfortable. I remember the big move when I was 3 years old, and my parents knowing the neighbours whom bought the house across the street; we helped to varnish the floors. Most of the land was still grass and all the families had children of similar ages so the streets were always full of friends. This familiarity is no longer present; police cars and domestic violence is a common occurrence down our street. However like a handful of families we know, and after what has been 28 years in a state house, my parents received a letter stating they no longer meet the requirements for state-funded housing.
In January, 2017 8 Cole place was vacated. At one time there had been three generations living there. The land is now being redeveloped to fit three dwellings on the one site and has a family living there temporarily until September. As the new generation of renters this has been a nervous path navigating alongside our parents outside of the social housing structures, for some in our whanau group, resettling in Australia became a more practical option.
In reference to above we have created performative video portraits on government purchased land for social housing. Exploring through indigenous methodologies, we have incorporated traditional grass dancing from Daniels culture (Lakota, Sioux) and as he moves through the landscape each step is considered a prayer for the whenua and people. Historically a Grass Dancer flattened grass areas for Tipi but in this context the redevelopment of the land is unwelcome and his movements offer a form of passive resistance.
Daniel Twiss (Lakota, Sioux, Rosebud Reservation) was raised in Vancouver, Washington. However his family relocated for a year living on the Coeur D’alene Inidan Reservation in Plummer, Idaho. His late father Richard Twiss was the co-founder of the Wiconi organisation and was a Professor of Native American Studies at Portland State University. Under his influence Daniel took up Grass Dancing and joined the 'International Dancing our Prayers Tour' in 2003 which created the platform for his involvement in Indigenous conferences and events. Since then he has attended and danced at numerous Indigenous gatherings and conferences including 'NAIITS Symposium' (2011) Vancouver, Canada; 'Rosebud Immersion Experience' (2012), Rosebud Reservation, USA; 'Surrender in the Desert Conference' (2012), Alice Springs, Australia; 'Good Water Conference', Turangi, Aotearoa (2015). In 2013 he performed collaboratively with Cora-Allan Wickliffe at the 'Weakforce 4' exhibition at ST Paul St Gallery and in 2017 together they launched BC Art Collective at the Corban Estate Arts Centre Open Arts Day.
Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngapuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) is a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niue descent (Ngāpuhi / Tainui and Alofi / Liku) originally from Waitakere. She has recently returned to Aotearoa after working at the Walter Phillips Art Gallery in Banff, Canada. Her work often explores and examines constructed identities of Indigenous people, finding new ways to provide platforms of educative experience as she favours social platforms of art. Cora-Allan has worked in the creative industry as a Curator, Preparator, Photographer, Artist and Educator. In 2013 she completed her Masters in Visual Art and Design from AUT also receiving an AUT Postgraduate Deans award for her research and excellence. She is the Curator and Exhibitions Manager at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Waitakere.