A Triad of Safekeeping is the second book in an occasional series which explores the Museum's collections. Through her editorship, Associate Curator Contemporary World, Andrea Low brings together the perspectives of artist and curators on one work - A Triad of Safekeeping by Rowan Panther.
First displayed at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum in December 2021, A Triad of Safekeeping occupied a liminal space between Te Marae Ātea Māori Court and Ngā Mounga ā Kiwa Pacific Masterpieces, two permanent galleries co-located but rarely connected. Rowan Panther’s adornments sat at the cross-currents of the wider Pacific and the Māori realm, where they marked continuous ongoing connections and genealogical ties and presenced contemporary culture in the deep knowledge of ancestors, Māori, Pacific and European.
A Triad of Safekeeping provides a locus around which relationships and connections can ebb and flow. A space to explore identity in a multicultural city on this whenua. The triptych’s seemingly simple choice of materials and form – beech, silver and crescent ornament, upon which are mounted fine muka threads worked into lace through intricate and appealing patterns – invites a series of reflections and explorations of identities, museum classifications, technique and creativity that bind past, present, and future stories.