Red Earth Reconnaissance
Emil McAvoy
Papakura Art Gallery
23 April – 4 June 2016

Red Earth Reconnaissance is a botanical survey of the Papakura (‘red earth’) region centred around the Papakura Art Gallery. ‘Red earth’ references its soil which is rich in iron oxides. The botanical subjects emerge from, and are connected to, this fertile ground.

The project documents and reframes fragments of Papakura’s unique ecology, toward a singular, partial and poetic guide to this place and its peoples.

It also reflects on Papakura’s military histories, from the role of the Great South Road during the New Zealand Wars, to Papakura Military Camp’s training of soldiers during WWII, and currently the NZSAS. The term ‘reconnaissance’ is hence borrowed from its common use in military contexts and repurposed for the aesthetic arena.

A newcomer to the region, the exhibition re-presents this preliminary research of an uncertain terrain back to local inhabitants themselves.