cook islands/ireland/new zealand (born 1971)

This work is inspired by the star ‘maps’ used by traditional navigators of the Pacific. These experts traversed the seas using significant natural signs that can be read, charted and passed orally through generations, knowledge to navigate our world today.

The objects reflect the complexity of this knowledge when it collides with our contemporary world.

I use specific, found materials to reconstruct these ‘satellites’ that hover in space, they point to an unavoidable disturbance in our natural patterns.

Ani O’Neill

 Satellites 2007
 kikau (coconut leaf mid-rib), wire, shell, beads, sequin
 collection of the artist
 courtesy of Sue Crockford Gallery

Ani O’Neill is a sculptor who brilliantly transforms everyday materials into poetic evocations of cultural reality. Satellites are a direct homage to the ways in which an intimate knowledge of celestial movement showed her Pacific ancestors how to undertake extensive voyages throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Like plants and sea-animals, O’Neill articulates a large space with the aura of intimate movement. Using kikau, the mid-rib of the coconut leaf, she alludes to the importance that this amazing palm tree has had for the history of life for all Pacific people.