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Groundwork, a major new book by Sydney-based artist Bianca Hester, finds its footing in the volcanic terrain of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (Aotearoa New Zealand). An expanded sculptural project that grew out of a series of research residencies in 2015, Groundwork is both social and geological in scope. Focused on a series of sites across the city where human activity, geology and ecology have converged in fraught and revealing ways, the book maps connections between the landscapes of Te Kōpuke Mount St John and Te Tokaroa Meola Reef; Ihumātao and Takapuna; Waterview and Matukutūruru Wiri Mountain. Through collaborative and consultative processes with local people, this work encompasses walking, sculptural production, exhibition, archival research and writing between 2015 and 2020. Engaging with landscape as a nexus of geologic materialities, nonhuman durations, land expropriation, extractive activities and ecological transformations, the book proposes ways to apprehend the complex sedimentations of a city.
Hester writes: In 2015, my feet made contact with ground materialised from millennia of lava flows, once liquefied, now solidified as the dominant geology of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Emerging from the body of an aircraft, I stepped onto the international airport’s thin asphalt tarmac, which was as generic as any I’d seen. The standard airport aesthetic obscured any signs of the absolute specificity of this place...
Published by Perimeter Books
Softcover with front flap
280 x 200 mm