Ko Wai Au? | Who Am I?

Lecturer Hannah Hopewell explores the violence and deformation of Aotearoa land and ecosystems in WFADI Visual Research Fund Exhibition

image of soil and artworks seen through glass window

Ko Wai Au? | Who am I? is a sonic, photographic and material-based installation that holds space for the vitality of soil—in of itself. Additionally, the work creates a critical, yet felt context to encounter violence in the mechanics of land development instantiated by Aotearoa’s prevailing settler-colonial imaginary. The different works surface how the pursuit of flatness in built environment practices gives way to radical topographic manipulation, soil deformation and resulting ecosystem breakdown.  Ko Wai Au? | Who am I? makes an appeal to built-environment designers to recognise the relational, political and cosmic value of soil beyond extractive anthropocentric demands.

30 July–25 September 2022, Te Aro Campus Window Gallery

Dr Hannah Hopewell is a tangata Tiriti landscape architect, urban designer and educator. Her creative practice addresses forms of naturalised violence and pattern repetition in land modification sanctioned by capitalist and settler colonial regimes. Hannah interrogates invisible and hypervisible manifestations within urban landscapes as means to foreground unrecognised spatial and environmental (in)justice ushered by built environment practices. Currently Hannah practices at Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation / Te Wāhanga Waihanga-Hoahoa and Kaupapa Māori TOA Architects.