Watch: Raewyn Atkinson, clay artist

Raewyn Atkinson filmed I too am in Paradise II over 10 months, recording the life cycle of an organic installation made in her Wellington garden. 

Unfired clay urns, each bearing the phrase ‘Et in Arcadia ego’ (I too am in Paradise), are planted with ngutu kākā mā (white kākā beak). As the ngutu kākā grow, they strain against the urns, which crumble and decay, returning to the earth.

Here, Atkinson describes the process and use of harakeke (New Zealand flax) and delves into her thinking around the work.

Watch Raewyn Atkinson

Atkinson’s time-lapse film is screening in Te Papa’s Toi Art exhibition, Te Mata Tūroa o Papa | This Natural World from 23 Sep 2023 to mid 2024.