Waterfall

Colin McCahon, Waterfall, 1964, oil on hardboard, 302 x 302mm, Charles Brasch Bequest, 1973, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, 73/193, courtesy McCahon Research and Publication Trust. 

None

Fiona Pardington, Buttercups, Fairy Clocks and Hawea Wai McCahon, 2013, Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, edition of 10.

Fiona Pardington

Artist, McCahon House Alumni 2013, New Zealand Order of Merit, Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters

 

To begin with, I have a rather diluted form of synaesthesia. I can hear and feel the movement of others and objects. It also seems to be kicked off by some forms in 2D, which has made being a photographer interesting. Usually it runs in a pedestrian manner, like an app left open in the background on your iPhone. There's no colour bubbles or orchestral music. Nothing flash.  

Here I am with Waterfall (1964). It is from a series of waterfall paintings based on Colin's visits to Fairy Falls in the Waitākere Ranges, not too far from where I live. 

I have an initial velvety, balled-fist body pressure and there's an opposing sharp spray of ribbony tickling high-hat lightness. White is being pulled downwards. Gravity tugging at water's sleeve. That same spray line flicks out and unravels back in to itself.  

Pressed with the slide and thrust of that scrubby white line as it drapes and drizzles against the coalface-black breast of land, the earth easy-bends liquid like a green twig and snaps white on its way. Sheltered in the dark nubbed insistency of McCahon's strokes, the earth is smudged, cross-hatched, rubbed and silky.  That's his feeling for our Earth Mother Papatūānuku. 

I search and a sound wells and my stomach drops. A dense hissing manifests a pummelling heaviness, punching down. We all know how a waterfall is when you stand close. I slide with the sault as it arches further and hear it pop in and out, muted and unmuted. Weighty drops in a lowkey swing down.  I feel the marvellously pared brush-push of land stared down by an ochre-ish wall-panelled sky.  

As my gaze drifts down, I'm thinking of Hine-nui-te-pō.  I pause and there's a muffled crepitation almost out of ear shot. She's shifting ever so slightly, breath wrapped in the intense darkness of her dream. She must be resting after a time in which she welcomed the recent dead.  I can't see her but I can tell she's there in the undercurrent of the painting.  

Above the two, the arching sky forms Rangi-nui, his partial torso and one claiming arm. Feel his embrace.

CONNECTING CULTURAL LEGACY WITH CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE

Index
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Naomi McCleary
Kauri
Séraphine Pick
Northland Panels
Brian Sweeney
View from the top of the cliff
Rudi Fuchs
North Otago Landscape
Rex Butler
I Considered All the Acts of Oppression
Donna McDonald
The Fourteen Stations of the Cross
Harold Jones
Muriwai no.6
Ted Spring
On Building Bridges
Areez Katki
The Three Marys at the Tomb
Rosanna Raymond
Jet Out
Rufus Knight
Waterfall
Megan Tamati-Quennell
Black Landscape
Nick Mitzevich
Victory over Death 2
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Victory over Death 2
The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy
Gate III
Grant Banbury
I Paul
Sir Bob Harvey
Dark Landscape
Young Old Girls (Christchurch Girls’ High)
North Otago Landscape 19
Sophie Bannan
Van Gogh - poems by John Caselberg
Linda Tyler
Urewera Triptych
Emily Karaka
Tangi. Muriwai
Robert Gardiner
Are there not twelve hours of daylight
Thomas Crow
Are there not twelve hours of daylight
Jude Rae
Victory over death 2
Brent Harris
The Family
Cora-Allan Wickliffe
15 Drawings Dec '51 to May '52
Salome Tanuvasa
Landscape
Yona Lee
Landscape theme and variations (series B)
David Kirk
Kaipara
Priscilla Pitts
Fourteen Stations of the Cross
Ruth Watson
This day a man is
Tessa Laird
Keep New Zealand Green
Nell
East window
Nicola Farquhar
Kauri trees
Hon Grant Robertson
Otago Peninsula
Jane Macknight
Untitled (North Otago Landscape)
Karen Walker
Titirangi
Wystan Curnow
The Green Plain
Philip Clarke
Necessary Protection (IHS)
Mary Kisler
A candle in a dark room
Ayesha Green
I AM
Matthew O'Reilly
Muriwai
Bettina Bradbury and Kararaina Rangihau
A poster for the Urewera no. 2
Al Keating
A Grain of wheat
Cushla Dillon
Entombment (after Titian)
Hamish Coney
Here I give thanks to Mondrian
Stephen Wainwright
As there is a constant flow of light we are born into the pure land
Sue Gardiner
Landscape theme and variations (series A)
Robert Leonard
Numerals
Judy Darragh
Clouds 1
John Coley
AS THERE IS A CONSTANT FLOW OF LIGHT WE ARE BORN INTO THE PURE LAND
Shannon Te Ao
Ka pōraruraru ahau. I am troubled.
Helen Beaglehole
GATE III
Ralph Paine
Jump E9
Judy Millar
Muriwai: Necessary Protection
Fiona Pardington
Waterfall
C.K. Stead
All mortals are like grass
Gretchen Albrecht
As there is a constant flow of light we are born into the pure land
Martin Edmond
Cross (1959)
Lisa Reihana
Urewera mural
Peter Simpson
Jet out to Te Reinga
Christina Barton
Gate III
Dame Jenny Gibbs
I Considered All the Acts of Oppression
Zoe Black
Ruby Bay
Jim Barr and Mary Barr
Oaia and clouds
Vivienne Stone
Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is
Kate Sylvester
Northland Panels