Lorna Tongotongo

Body of work... Body of Water.. Body.

027 A0397
"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." - Lewis Carroll
“The great Art of life is sensation, to feel we exist, even in pain.”
— Lord Byron

When life hit me like a tonne of bricks my instinct was to bottle it up. Hold it down for my loved ones and stay level headed. Unfortunately this snowballed. To the point where any small thing would nearly break the dam inside myself and release who knows what kinds of chaos. I NEEDED a healthy outlet, where I could tease, explore, hurt and heal incrementally. 

I have learned that to have any sort of comprehensible outcome I needed focus points, and so STRENGTH, MIX and TALK were my anchors.

This project pays homage to those around me who offered unconditional and unending support; my warriors. It also pays homage to my ever-changing self. It is a reflection of my healing, an appreciation for who I used to be and the discovery that life can change in a moment, therefore I myself change several times a day. 

ThIs acceptance towards the end of this project opened up my practice in ways that were liberating, and the work began to flow forth.

Thus through choppy waters, disorientation and fear, I introduce the product of this voyage. 

0 A9 A1967
"We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one." - Jacquez Yves Cousteau
Edit Blue
0 A9 A1963

The objects on the raised platform are representations of the Polynesian symbol for 'warrior'. All are created from scratch and symbolise certain people from my life.

Each hold a story that can only be heard through storytelling, connecting my practice with the practice of my ancestors, as well as being respectful to my fellow warriors and their preferences regarding the extent of their anonymity. 

The inclusion of water was very natural in its conception. It tied all my pieces together in a composition that spoke to my goals with this project. I associate this blue not only with water and everything it embodies but also with the concepts of STRENGTH and DEPENDABILITY.

My portraits represent different fragments of myself. I resolved the images down to two to convey the first step of compartmentalisation which is, 'I am of two peoples'. From this point, the duality of further exploring the old and new aspects of myself in order to heal and grow is the purpose of this project: a therapy and a voyage in one.

As the work flows over the wall and into the studio it is separated into two parts so that viewers can move around the work. This does not hinder the overall work as it is installed in a way in which the third eye naturally fills the gap where the reflective fabric flows onto the floor and towards the warriors plinth, completing the body the water. 

0 A9 A1969
“Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health. ”
— Dr Mary Reilly
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