Sarah Munro (b. 1970) studied at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, majoring in sculpture, and has a Doctorate in Fine Arts. Munro has been the recipient of artist residencies including the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago and her work is represented in public collections. Munro is an artisan. Interested in the manual aspects of production, her practice extends from large scale sculptures to her more recent series of small-scale embroideries. Her large sculptural works in fibreglass, resin, and foam appear at first to be seven identical sculptures yet on closer inspection each is revealed to be unique, with its own individualised contours and variations that are meticulously, painstakingly realised. Munro’s recent and ongoing Trade Items series consists of delicately embroidered works that respond to a watercolour and pencil drawing of ‘first contact’ by Ra’iatea navigator Tupaia in 1769, depicting the exchange of a crayfish for a length of cloth or tapa. Each embroidery depicts the exchange of native and introduced animal or plant species, the introduction of the latter sometimes resulting in the demise of the endemic population of New Zealand.
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