untitled (Ngunese Serenade Tannese Escapade/ Moonshine Shoe Shine/ Boy)
This work takes the form of Pandanus mats, traditionally used for trade and as ceremonial gifts in Vanuatu, where they were made by local weavers. In a Western context, the mats lose their original monetary status. Harry is interested in how words are similarly subject to slippages of meaning as they circulate between contexts. This aspect of his practice has been partly informed by his nomadic experience of moving between cultures, including extensive time spent living in the Pacific. Harry has spoken of using language in his work as a way of leaving meaning unfixed. Along with the unexpected and nonsensical word plays seen here, he often uses slang and creole to similar effect.
gift mat Pandanus, dye
102.0 x 247.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2019
Not on display
© Harry Newell