One of this country's foremost contemporary jewellers, Areta Wilkinson utilizes the craft of object making to investigate the relationship between the body and it's critical environment. Drawing on her dual background as Ngai Tahu and Pakeha, many of Wilkinson's pieces have questioned modes of representation employed in a colonial construct, particularly regarding the preservation, and presentation of traditional taonga in a western museological context.
The Herbal Mixture is part of a new series which explores Wilkinson's recent experiences with illness, exploring the boundaries of the human body, and demonstrating both its physicality and frailties. A steel trolley sits atop stark gray lino, displaying ten medicine bottles, each filled with a tiny metal plant specimen. Alluding to the sterility of the hospital environment, and the intimacy of human illness, The Herbal Mixture is quietly but compellingly evocative.
The Herbal Mixture is exhibited at The Physics Room by permission of the Dowse Art Museum.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Herbal Mixture - Areta Wilkinson
The Physics Room Annual, 2001
The Press, 2001 Apr. 11, p. 40
The Herbal Mixture: an installation by Areta Wilkinson; The Waiting Room: video work by Jinhan Ko.
The Waiting Room/The Herbal Mixture
Canta, April, 2001
Wood, Andrew Paul
The Package, April, 2001
The Waiting Room & The Herbal Mixture