Leigh Schneider's picture

Return to Aotearoa, 2022

This image was created on my first return to New Zealand, post Covid-19. My home country closed it's borders to it's own citizens for the duration of the pandemic, causing many kiwis to be displaced around the world, as visas fell through and circumstances changed.

This image is an expression of the death of freedom I experienced in this time, as well as the processing of the strain and new perspectives generated.

The bird the subject holds, represents freedom in a broad sense, as well as the literal ability to fly. The New Zealand fern that grows from the bird, symbolises new growth, as well as a sense of attachment to the homeland in my culture.

New beginnings and a fresh appreciation for my home spring from this experience, as well as a new awareness of it's shortcomings.

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