A new 'Offcut' series from Welfe Bowyer ~ View HERE ~

ipu uku Olivia Asher


ipu uku

This body is a vessel,
It is a tool.
I unpack the meaning attached to the vessel
As I unpack the meaning attached to myself.
It carries me
It carries a home
For which I seek to find myself in.
The vessel carries into the ipu
Though they may seem the same
They are not
The ipu is the carrier of (my) self
The vessel is what came before it.

I oscillate between my Māori and Pākehā identity.

It is a slow, thoughtful, meditative process.
It is an act of coiling
It is an act of mending (myself)
It is not something that can be rushed.
I shape the uku (knowledge) into something
substantial - an ipu (an identity).

Through this process, a reciprocal relationship is
formed with myself,
my materials, and my whakapapa.
Hand built, hand pinched.
I sit at my bench and mend the uku into itself
(in this instance, I am the uku)
with every few layers
I wait, let it rest
For what is underneath needs to harden into a
(of knowledge, of memory),
so it can support itself, so it can support me.


Read about Olivia Ashers process making 'ipu uku' and her exploration of self identity here.