I thought I would of climbed more mountains by now

4 Jun – 27 Jun 2015

Bridget Reweti

Moving image installation by Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi)

Mountain climbing is the oldest metaphor in the book for success, an analogy for conquering, a punch to sky in a kind of fuck-yeah triumph. 


Layered on top of these colonial notions of domination over the landscape is the religious rhetoric that settled with it, as it is on the  mountain-top where men meet God. These ideas sit at odds with customary Māori paradigms, where humanity is considered to be from, of and belonging to the land.

In February 2015 my sister, her partner and I left our car at Erewhon Station and headed towards the Adams Wilderness Area for the Garden of Eden Ice Plateau. A 9km stretch of gentle rolling snow and ice at an elevation of 2000m, the Garden of Edenis just west of the main divide, in the heart of the Southern Alps. It is adjacent to the Garden of Allah and features such names as Eve’s Rib, Cain’s Glacier, Angel col, the Devil’s Backbone and the Great Unknown.

I thought I would of climbed more mountains by now is informed by these contrast in the perception of landscape, builds upon the iconic imagery seen in Hugh MacDonald’s This is New Zealand to question colonial, religious, patriarchal and utopian landscape ideologies implicit to New Zealand.

An accompanying publication, the second volume of In through the earth and up to the sky, will be launched during opening night. This publication has been produced in accordance with Caroline McQuarrie’s exhibition Homewardbounder, which was exhibited at Enjoy April 1 – April 25, 2015.

View photos from the opening on Facebook