Sitting with Mountains


(image video still)

Film documentation:

‘Makutu #2: Rangipo | Sitting with Mountains.’

Split Screen HD video

10:35 mins


This work is a continuation of the Makutu series and the following text is documentation of my experience in the desert.


I walked out into the wild grasses and sat down.

Behind me a bomb blast and rifle fire.

‘What is this?’ I thought as I stared across at Tupuna Maunga and this Tapu landscape.

I am surrounded by signs that shout ‘Beware, Danger, Do not enter’

This whenua is clearly owned by the Government

This land is preoccupied with war practice

I am annoyed

All I want to do is sit down with my Tupuna

To hear, to hone my intuition, to learn

With stubborn intent and a shaking hand

I raise the blindfold and cover my eyes.

Why do I cover my eyes?

I want to hear the sound of my Tupuna

Without the visage of strength that looms above

This ineffable presence that sends shivers down my spine




The icy chill of a southerly blast, whispers icicles into my body.

In that moment of acknowledgement my body is aware

This place is capable of taking me forever into its embrace.

Anxiety sends blood racing and the heart beats too quickly

I want to abandon this mission

Write it off as a failure

Boom! Another blast down the road, and a car flies past.

Against the warning of the signs, the road here invites speed

Humanity reminds me that I am not alone

In this place of solitude.

This is not the home of my ancestors


Quiet now, remember why you are here.

I am no student of meditation and quiet contemplation

I listen and try to concentrate

Whoosh another car flies past

Suddenly I am aware of a bird.

My Nana Wikitoria Rangitakina

Long past into Te Ao Wairua

Springs into my mind, with the chirping of the bird

A flood of her memory

Warmth flows again

Birds were her messengers

I can see her and hear her voice

She is chatting away to a pukeko over the hedge as she feeds him bread scraps

How could she understand their messages?

What is this bird trying to convey?

It sounds small and excited or is it fearful.

Is it shouting a warning at me?


Quiet now Moko, she would say if she were here


Whoosh an icy whisper in my ear

No car this time

It is the wind

Of course!

‘Tāwhirimātea!’ I shout out across the desert mindscape.

In characteristic wild abandon he flies across it and shakes the grasses awake

The grasses

I hear them too

Wild cheering, like a crowd, waving him on

A crowd in unison I see them in my mind creating waves of colour

Bowing and extending in rhythmic lines

Light and Dark ripple out

Verticle, horizontal, diagonal waves converge and diverge – energy!

I want to paint, document and record that movement


Then, as I sit blindfolded on the stony desert floor

I hear it, the immensity of what stands before me

The Maunga

It’s silence weighs heavy across the landscape and touches my mind

I am suddenly aware of this primordial silence

All other noise

No longer exists

I am here,

Sitting with Tupuna

I no longer need to hear the messages

I no longer feel the fear

I feel the heavy weight of silence

Quiet magnitude

The inevitable

The Sound IS the Silence

This IS the energy

This IS Tupuna

I am home

This IS turangawaewae

I am whenua

We are energy

We are interconnected

We are Tupuna



| * to become a book (text, drawing, photo) & dvd set



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