This is a piece exploring the colour Black in different mediums. It was inspired by Jo Tito’s Painted Rock of the Day called Paru. I read about the black mud and how dense and oily it was… and I thought “wow – I want some of that!”
Knowing me I would probably try putting it in my hair. Mud is awfully good for hair you know. I used to buy this African Mud stuff from the Body Shop and put that in my hair. It was heavily perfumed and processed of course, but still, silky black mud? I’d give it a whirl.
Anyway. Back to Black.
I wanted to experiment with some gloss gel I had just purchased – it has a very nice sheen to it when dry, so I added some black acrylic to it. Mmmm shiny black. I drew a star (cos I like stars, as well as skulls) and built up the gel around the edges. I stained the wood with Indian Ink. Then I used one of my old stencils and sprayed the words Mauri Ora on it.
Now, if any of you art knobs out there are thinking – “dude that’s pretty Ralph Hotere” (but in a more complicated lexicon of course), then you would be Correctamundo! as the Fonz used to say. Ralph (I don’t know him personally I just always refer to Him as Ralph) is a HUGE influence on the art I like to make. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good as him and it’s a bit art school to admit your influences these days, but his black paintings are FUCKING COOL. Alright, that’s the Ralph rant over.
Yeah so I like black. I love all the things I associate with it, but don’t care for other’s interpretations. Leather, denim, latex, rooms, velvet, cardigans, hair, lace, night, warmth, goths, teddy bears, sad pandas, nuns, goats, Chrome, cats, witches, deep space (9, ho ho), Darth Vader… no wait, I don’t like black metal very much.
To me, the colour black also represents peace, and the realm of Te Pō. I read Cleve Barlow‘s take on Te Pō, where he described it as a place of ignorance (presumably because it is dark). I don’t like this reading, I thought it was too heavily influenced by colonial ideas of black being negative and white being positive. And I’ve heard enough of black being the bad guy. Te Pō is the birthplace of the gods, the actioning of ideas, the place where life continues to grow. Where things take form and set you on the path to Te Ao Mārama. But you can’t have one without the other…
Back in Black.
So all these ideas were running through my mind as I layered on these different mediums. I enjoyed the experiment and the process gave me plenty of ideas for more creations!
The Man In Black.
I swapped this small piece (it’s about A5 sized) for the Paru rock, which is now next to my Perfectionism one, under the watchful eye of Darth Vader. Because I picked up Mr. Paru on the anniversary of Peter Steele‘s death, I called him Pita Paru. (Pita is the transliteration of Peter!)
Peter Steele wrote this wonderfully sardonic song called Black No. 1 – about goths dying their hair….black! So that’s what this post is named after, as well as my rock. Thanks Pete, you will always rock! hyuk hyuk.
After I dropped this piece off, Jo created a black rock and wrote her kōrero about Black. Awesome! Check it out here. I get a shout out too. Kei whea mai!