The meditative exploration of a little pine forest plantation site in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia morphed into the carving of an aerial burial canoe as a ritualistic act to honour and commemorate the life and death of my late father, Gottfried Veit (“Gottfried” is a German name consisting of the German words for “God” (Gott) and “peace” (fried).
In the struggle with the material (also indicative of our relationship) it took me over 400hrs to transform the ‘found object’ – a fallen pine tree that had been left to rot in pine forest, into the dugout canoe. I’ve always loved the story of Noah and also Herman Melville’s literary work, “Moby Dick” and in it Queequeg’s extraordinary canoe/coffin/lifeboat.
Acknowledging my European-centric roots and education through my art practice I question the dominant intellectual Western scientific approach to culture and its underlying myth of linear progress of civilisation. I am interested in a renewed engagement with ancient ways of making things and I interrogate contemporary art’s agency to re-enchant and re-mediate our human relationship with the material nature of things.