Website case studies
for AUT SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN
This series of case studies for AUT profiles the research of seven academics. The stories demonstrate the depth and breadth of design research within the faculty, highlighting a vibrant and generative research culture.
A sample of what we wrote:
Photographic and moving image artist Natalie Robertson (Ngati Porou/Clann Dhònnchaidh) tells stories about people and their historic connection with a place. Working with indigenous knowledge and customs, she researches and records the relationship between Maori communities and their natural environment, and particularly the impact of environmental degradation on traditional cultural practices. By setting day-to-day activities like food harvesting and cooking against a complex background of land ownership and management, colonialism, conflict and occupation, Robertson goes straight to the heart of current issues, and highlights potential ways forward.
Her documentary practice, at first glance, appears to be a neutral view of the situation – an image of a wide beach with people gathering mussels, a film of a slow-running river – but on closer inspection, there are more unsettling processes at work. Rocks along the beach are covered in a layer of silt, with the blue Pacific stained brown. Dead branches float downstream and out to sea. The images speak for themselves; Robertson doesn’t need to dramatise what’s going on.
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