Hīnaki is a memorial comprising two bronze sculptures whose forms are inspired by customary Māori eel-pots. While the upended sculptures ‘remember’ father and son, Morris and Peter Dippie, they also represent the nature of memory itself. The woven forms are permeable, alluding to the mind’s capacity to retain some memories while others are lost. Hīnaki’s distorted and incorporeal reflections in the pool and its night-time shadows could also refer to attributes of memory. For the artist, Hīnaki evokes childhood memories of visiting the Māori Hall in the former Dominion Museum in Wellington. There, the hīnaki on display left a powerful impression for their formal and material aesthetic beauty, practical design, and the makers’ technical proficiency.
Hīnaki references both its wider location on the Heretaunga Plains – once well-known for eeling – and its local setting. Sited in the dwelling’s reflective pool and framed within the entrance architecture, the sculpture’s organic forms relate to the building and echo the transparency of its glazed features.
Designed by Kingsley Baird and made by Paul Dippie.
Hīnaki. Photos: William Baird