"When you come across a quiet space in the forest, or stand face to face with the blueness of the ocean, remember you too dreamt of another world." - John Pule
Everywhere in the World provides an intimate viewing into John Pule’s life and the influence that the Pacific, particularly his birthplace of Niue, has had on his practice. These new works evoke a sense of place, memories of a time gone by and a different pace of life than what most of us are accustomed to. In his artist statement, Pule’s poetic narrative helps to navigate us, the viewer, to this other land surrounded by the ocean and lush greenery of the forest that envelopes those who inhabit it.
The living will pray to the dead for advice, my return to Liku has opened a door for the ocean to expand; I belong to this soil, I ate a little as a two-year-old, that scintillating dirt full of ants and worms. Now looking to the future, that is where I live. I have to go this way, the long way, to reach you and then my journey would be complete. I only have to take one more step to see you, all the leaves blowing north, as my days, as my nights, may the shining spirits of trees, clouds and ocean be scaffolds to hold up your dreams. How soft the sun if I should hold her, teaches me how to use water when I dream of the sea, how hot is the moon since I last saw her?
Teach me how to eat fish when I dream of the sea, I want to describe the men I come from yet it burns me knowing them, I will not find all because many are stones buried under rock. I ate a little soil to repair my lungs, and pleased it was not my first breathe at birth that frightened me, rather it was meeting you for the first time. Escalated dreams to hurry up, bring that sun closer, that river to quench my thirst, that stone to replace my eyes, estuary stretches the veins, tickles the capillaries to grow quicker, elegantly, towards the heart. The man that became known for his watermelon field - the youths stole from it. The women I descend from were true earth walkers; they touched the clouds when they were sad as they walk into Pulotu. They aimed the after birth of whales at my ears and smear the windows of my childhood with ambergris, combined with scents of loku and hibiscus. I can do no wrong, my heart is green. I watch airplanes leave behind bags of sugar, experience a taste of heaven, understand the intriguing spectre.
When you come across a quiet space in the forest, or stand face to face with the blueness of the ocean, remember you too dreamt of another world. I lost a day here, a day there, yet I landed here; blue paradise, providence and to be young. I’d rather be everywhere in the world except home.
- John Pule, August 2019, Granada, Spain.