Since 1998 Jason Hall's jewellery has been asking questions about Pakeha identity. His work represents a consistent struggle to negotiate being Pakeha through an awareness of the traditions and craft of contemporary jewellery in Aotearoa.

1839 Exchanges: Jewellery by Jason Hall is an exhibition about jewellery, identity and cultural exchange explored through a series of amulets created for Frederick Edward Maning, an Irishman who arrived in Aotearoa in 1833 and became a trader. Maning is a well known Pakeha Maori, a term that refers to Europeans who lived as Maori in the early phase of colonisation. Maning, who initially advised Maori not to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, later became a land court judge in the 1860s, and a member of the European colonial gentry.


Most cultures have made use of the amulet, in which a part of what is feared (commonly a tooth or claw) is strung up and worn in order to ward off the object of fear. Hall's works draw a parallel between the amulet and the tension that sits at the heart of settler societies around the question of native and indigenous, and explores how settlers might construct a convincing claim of belonging to a land they have stolen.


1839 Exchanges: Jewellery by Jason Hall is curated by Damian Skinner. The catalogue features essays by Skinner, and David Colquhoun, curator of Manuscripts at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.

Jason Hall, Turning the Table, 2007.