Kei Mate Mangopare was first shown as a part of the More than we Know exhibition at Te Tuhi Public Art Gallery in 2012. The work evokes the whakatauki ‘Kei mate mangopare, kua mate wheke’ – ‘Die like a hammerhead shark, not like an octopus’. The footage was both digitally created and composited into video shot from the top of Mangere Mountian. When I shot the footage for the work in 2011, I was familiar with the site, as I had lived in Mangere between 2006-2008, and had walked the mountain on previous occasions with my partner. The work itself, was something that I had been developing while I was studying at Elam School of Fine Art/University of Auckland in 2009, however I had yet to connect the dots necessary to develop the work at that time. It wasn’t until later, that I was inspired to complete the work. This happened while I was assisting in the filming of the a documentary ‘Stories of Tamaaki’ in 2010. There is a small bronze plaque in the general vicinity of the site on Mangere Mountain where I shot the video footage for this work. On the plaque there are a number of animals carved in bas relief. One of these was the Mangopare. As long as I can remember I have known the ‘Mangopare/Wheke whakautaki and it occurred to me as a sign – that despite, while I was experiencing a difficult period in my life – that I should pick myself up, and struggle against these difficulties.
Daniel Campbell-MacDonald created the audio for this work.