• Madison Kelly

The returning act is a familial act. It scales the net beyond single encounter, scooping up instead our many continuous meetings, each with their own amplitudes and interferences and multiples.

toko by and by thinks upon acts of meeting, within and around the Otago harbour. On residency in Whaka Oho Rahi Broad Bay, Kelly spent time reading the transcribed kōrero of Kāi Tahu tipuna Pātahi, who met the sealer Edwin Palmer in the early waves of arrival by tākata pora through our harbour. Much of Pātahi’s kōrero speaks to variations of repeat encounter––her meeting, losing, and meeting again of Edwin as his trade took him to and from the coast. The loss and seeking out of her daughters, from whom she was separated upon ‘divorce’ from Palmer. Her settlements and re-settlements around different kaik of Te Waipounamu. The pathways of mahika kai, and newly emerging systems of value in her travels. Pātahi speaks of time passing both in terms of the maramataka, and with newer frames of reference such as the english phrase “by and by” to contextualise cycles of connection, loss, resource, and her own changing understanding of Kāitahutaka in this intense period of European settlement and intermarriage. 

toko by and by seeks to acknowledge the resilience of the harbour-the mauri of its multispecies community, as evidenced by its deeply seated rhythms. Two key figures, our tides and our coastal kōhatu/rocks, become surfaces for holding and casting out whakapapa. 

Field drawings of the moana, the maramataka, travelling sea birds, intertidal species, and masting grasses and trees, have been collected for further sensory meeting and interfacing by both Kelly and manuhiri of the work.

Madison Kelly was the Blue Oyster Art Project Space Caselberg Trust Summer Resident for 2022. Thank you to the Caselberg Trust for their support of this project.

Madison Kelly

Madison Kelly (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Pākehā, b.1994) graduated from the Dunedin School of Art in 2017, with a BVA (Hons First Class) in drawing. Grounded in Kāitahutaka, observation and duration, their Ōtepoti based practice works across multispecies histories and futures.

Alongside their art practice, Kelly is lead kaiārahi/guide at Te Korowai o Mihiwaka, Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Recent shows include Pollen in the Trough (Wormhole, Edgecumbe, 2022), Gift (Ashburton Art Gallery, 2022), and Paemanu: Tauraka Toi (Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2021). Kelly co-curated He Reka te Kūmara ( Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2021), and held the 2022 Blue Oyster Caselberg Trust Summer residency in Whaka Oho Rahi Broad Bay, in preparation for toko by and by.

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  • 16 Dowling Street
  • Ōtepoti, Dunedin