Brendon Monson

New Zealand has a long history of stone carving of which Pakeha are relative new comers. As a contemporary Pakeha jeweller working with stone I am interested in the politics surrounding its use today in Aotearoa/NZ . My work unpacks and critics the concepts and misgivings encompassing the pivotal Bone, Stone, Shell Movement from the mid 1980's, and in particular the illusion of ‘natural occupancy' that this movement sort to create.

I have researched my own family's colonial heritage as a way of confronting the dilemma of how to express Pakeha identity in a post-colonial era. Their migration and settlement to Otago in 1848 inspired the development of my own visual language of form, metaphor and materiality.

I use stone and metal in my work, bringing together materials representing both settler and Maori cultures. I love to use pulleys in my jewellery, for their playfulness and as a metaphoric link to early European industries; as much as the stone does to pre-European technology.

They are objects of fictional antiquity, artefacts of a harmonious bicultural society which doesn't fully exist in realty.
Brendon Monson, 2014