Erathem is a collaborative exhibition between Te Whanganui-a-Tara based artists Dayle Palfreyman (BFA) and Nick Shackleton (BSc). Combining Dayle’s conceptual art background with Nick’s Geological and Geophysical education, the two aim to present complex geological knowledge in an art context. Predominantly working in sculpture and installation, the show expands on the mediums the artists generally explore, including other ways to present this information.
At the Southern end of the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) lies the Rimutaka-Tararua Ranges and the Hau-rangi (Aorangi) Mountains. Sitting on the slopes of Haurangis, extending west to the Wairarapa Valley, vast layers of conglomerate and soft mudstone (silt-stone) sit atop the deformed greywacke bedrock. Around 9 million years ago the Aorangi Mountains were islands as the sea levels were much higher. Following the glacial periods, water levels receded and the erosion of rock began. Evidence of past events is embedded within each layer of rock.
The introspection of various forms of solidity exposes external conditions through its formation over time. Evidence of previous life remains embedded within its structure, exposing itself during erosion. The sedimentary accumulation the oceans’ floor, and terrestrial environments form the sedimentary rocks present in the area; greywacke, conglomerate and siltstone. These rocks are subject to forces that impact both the internal structure and visible outcrop. Shaped predominately by the glacial and interglacial periods, regular tectonic deformation and pelagic calcareous oozes, these sedimentary rocks make up 8% of the earth's crust. Past sea life is fossilised within much of the silt-stone, terrestrial life in the conglomerate, and fracturing and deformation is evident in the greywacke. Formed above the igneous and metamorphic, the formation of sedimentary rock is arguably the most personable of the three, relating closely the life experience of those that have inhabited this planet.