National Contemporary Art Award Finalist & Award Winner, 2023
Tēnei Au is part of an ongoing kaupapa exploring connection with Whenua, Tūpuna and Wairua. The underlying beat of colonisation simmers. kōrero brings new life.
This series is driven by those I photograph and my own tūpuna who drive and watch over me. I listen, and this becomes a toanga for all.
Darling embraces her own mana motuhake. “I had heaps of masculine and feminine energy today. It just mashed together. I’m no longer the person I was a year ago. All my druggie stuff. I know I’m going to overcome fucking cancer. I’m a stubborn bitch, even when I am always getting a growling from my conscience. It’s like I’m three different people arguing with myself…My head, my spirit, and probably my heart.
Today, in my Wairere I felt a bit scared. A waiata just busted out of me. It's fitting. I didn’t know it was coming.”
"Tēnei Au-Darling is incredibly moving. I kept coming back to it. It really captures a feeling, a wairua in the landscape that draws you in. A strong sense of healing. It is beautiful and leaves something with you." Melanie Oliver, Judge and Arts curator, Christchurch Gallery