A year of discovery for Froyle Davies
A lot can happen in a year and, in the case of artist Froyle Davies, her whole life has changed in the 12 months since she traced her birth father to New Zealand.
An exhibition of her work marks that journey — her ‘‘return home’’ after 47 years in Australia and Davis’ discovery of her Ma¯ori lineage.
‘‘In creating this series, I think my greatest revelation that I have come to is that I have actually always been Ma¯ori,’’ Davies said.
‘‘I had no grid before to relate that to, but now that I’m here and now that I’m amongst people, I feel like I really belong.‘‘
Davies, who was adopted at birth, was prompted by a close friend to ‘‘find her people’’ last year.
She was able to trace her birth father to New Zealand and, although he is dead, she has connected with his family and children.
‘‘When I first met my brother Brownie, he embraced me into the family, reciting our whakapapa and blessing me in te reo. He gave me the pendant from around his neck.’’
Davies said the moment gave her ‘‘an incredible sense of belonging’’ and the pendant has become an inspiration for a new series of works she is exploring while studying toward a bachelor of Ma¯ori visual arts at Massey University. Davies has made her home in Palmerston North now. Inheritance: The Continuation of the Journey Home
opens at Palmerston North’s Square Edge Community Centre on May 5 and runs until June 5.
Froyle Davies has found her family and a home in Palmerston North.