Erika Kruger New Zealand artist
Erika’s recent work is inspired by the dog beach in Pito-one (Petone), the end of the sand beach, in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai (Lower Hutt). It shifts and changes, subject to the push and pull of tides, reflecting this tension in life, and within our dreams. The beach is the last contact with solid ground before the spirit flies free. The main protagonist of these works is the black-billed gull (also known as Buller's gull, or tarāpuka) is a 'near threatened' species endemic to New Zealand. Their affinity to coastlines and to water makes them seem unrestrained and unrestricted, a powerful symbol of optimism, hope, and of the human soul and its spiritual journey. Within Erika’s painting the gulls are in conflict with the black dogs that represent mental struggle and depression. The central characters are neither animal, nor human, express our connectivity to the world around us, our diversity and the unstoppable force of evolution. They are an exploration of the mythology of ‘monsters’.