Melanie Rands is a visual artist, poet and businesswoman of Scottish, Hawaiian and Fijian heritage. She has a fine arts degree from Elam and completed her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland in 2011. She has spent a lot of time researching and writing for a company called ecostore which she started with her partner in 1993 when they were living in a permaculture eco-village up North. She believes that integrating art and business can be of huge benefit to both fields. In 2017 she contributed to A Transpacific Poetics (Litmus Press), edited by Lisa Samuels and Sawako Nakayasu.
Where are you from? Such a casual enquiry.
Lots of people (here) share a history of migration on one or both sides of the family. Go back (there, then) a couple of generations and there we all are, on the move, coming and going from islands, exchanging old patterns of settlement for new ones, finding and losing languages of connection.
These poems map our migratory experience. They are collages that juxtapose text, citation, image, sound and object. They work towards a genealogical sense of place, drawing on an archive of secrets and missing parts, fragments, exaggerations, coincidence and déjà vu. They are history and hula dancing, apples and pears. Where is the line they ask, where is the line and how do we draw it now?