Exhibitions | Oliver roake/resonance


Tuesday 14 November - Wednesday 13 December 2023

Resonance presents new work from Oliver Roake. A development from his Re/cognition series, this exhibition extends the visual language Oliver has created to embody sound, place, and time. Continuing his exploration of traditional craft and modern technology, Oliver uses digitised machinery to form the sculptures, and finishes them with techniques honed over centuries.

This body of work is based on sound recordings taken over a five day period in Fiordland. They map encounters with native birds along the journey into Piopiotahi Milford Sound. Oliver introduces a new composition, the concentric circles are framed by defined edges in the wooden panels. This creates a portrait of a distinct bird or group of birds that Oliver encountered. The exception is the rounded sides of Deer Flat Dawn Chorus, its Oregon Pine grain embodies the layering of birdsong at daybreak. Each song bleeds into the collective whole, becoming indistinguishable from one another and filling vast spaces. As Oliver says, "you can’t feel the edges of that sound."

The three species highlighted in this series, Toutouwai New Zealand robin, South Island Kākā, and Kea have official conservation status of at risk, nationally vulnerable, and nationally endangered. The works in Resonance connect with Oliver's unease about human activity that erodes the habitats of native wildlife and the need to protect these environments.