Phil Price Liberace, 2019
Carbon fibre and epoxy, industrial urethane, stainless steel and precision bearings, 4300 (diameter, extending to 5200) x 4700 mm.
A rare and distinctive species, the Liberace is a large growing specimen tree, cultivated primarily for its showy, somewhat flamboyant foliage often described as having a candelabra-like structure. The Liberace is known for its spectacular colour, with the large tree (generally to 10 metres), displaying multiple oval disc shaped leaves in bold, even lurid colours. Most popular in the 1950s-1970s, (with many grown in Las Vegas), the tree has fallen somewhat out of favour in recent times, due to its gaudy foliage and extreme appearance.
Ngāhina Hohaia Te Ara Kei Runga, 2018–19
Harakeke fibre, supplejack vine, galvanised wire, repurposed fence battens, paint.
Te Ara Kei Runga takes its name from the beginning verse of an ancestral incantation, meaning Behold this pathway above. In the context of this installation, Te Ara Kei Runga symbolises a site of sanctuary and mauri, Māori concepts relating to the life-force of the natural world, physical and spiritual. This installation stands as a woven altar of bloodlines connecting the fibres between the heavens and the earth. It is a call to the Sacred within and to the Sacred that surrounds us, bringing alive art as ritual and ritual as art as it has been since time immemorial.
Robert Jahnke Ground Zero, 2019
Corten steel plate, aluminium and glass and neon, 3420 x 3420 x 2000 mm.
Ground Zero, alternatively known as ‘surface zero’, is a parody of a term most often associated with the epicentre of intense activity or change. It is also used in relation to natural disasters and epidemics to mark the locus of destruction and damage. It is used in this instance to mark a centre of change where land that was once owned by Māori is no longer under Māori ownership.
At the centre of the Ground Zero sculpture is an illuminated round neon located within a circular drum of mirrors that create the illusion of a reflection of the circle that appears to reduce in size and to disappear into black void, much like the concentric circles of a bullseye. People are encouraged to ascend and descend the stairs of the sculpture or sit on them; walk around the neon on the cylindrical platform and even walk over the illuminated neon drum; over the epicentre or the bullseye that marks an area of land in which Māori have zero interest; the land on which the sculpture is located.
Sally Smith Kākano – Seed, 2019
Bronze, stainless steel base, 460 x 120 x 2700 mm. Edition 1/3
Today many of the kauri tree populations of mainland Auckland, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel ranges are infected with kauri dieback, a water mould that kills these magnificent trees and a disease for which there is no cure. Within this triangle of infected specimens sits Waiheke Island with its population of uninfected kauri. Pockets of isolated kauri such as those on Waiheke, free of infection, will be essential in ensuring the survival of the kauri as a solution is sought for the disease, as kauri seeds do not store successfully for long periods.
This piece seeks to remind the viewer of the potential that they play in ensuring that the Waiheke kauri tree survives. The deadly spores of this mould are carried from place to place on footwear. Please take care to clean your shoes. A seed has so much potential, but only if it is given the chance to germinate and grow, and we can all play a role in ensuring that occurs.
Brit Bunkley and Andrea Gardner Garden Shed, 2018-19
Video and found shed, Dimensions variable. Video duration: 8:07 mins
Garden tools, gloves on a shelf, seeds, fertilizer, pots and sprays … these are some of the treasures of a garden shed, with its promise of contentment, creativity, beauty and communion with nature. In contrast, this garden shed contains a video presenting a 21st-century interpretation of gardens seen through the lens of 3D scanning. Situated in a corner of the video is a small swaying figure wearing a Tree Hat, suggesting a quiet reverence and longing for the natural world.
The video (which includes 3D animation and actual footage) focuses on gardens in Waiheke including the Sacred Blessing Sanctuary Garden, the Mudbrick Vineyard garden, the private garden of Graham and Jackie Guthrie and a commercial flower garden, Nourish Gardens, run by Christy Ralphs. The music “Like the Bitter Rind of a Cucumber” is by the Dunedin musician Alastair Galbraith. Garden Shed alludes to the increasing presence of virtual experiences in contemporary life and raises questions around perception, authenticity and our ongoing and changing relationship with nature.
Virginia King Hinaki, 2019
Marine Grade, 316 Stainless Steel, each 1500 x 1500 x 3500 mm approx.
The three sculptures are interactive and an onward exploration of universal fish-trap forms. While the installation represents the gathering of food and survival, sit also refers to entrapment and loss. My aspiration is that by the development and abstraction of the forms to allow physical entry and entrapment, the viewer may consider the outcome of current global unsustainable fishing practices and their environmental impact. The works are conceived as an assemblage of three tall Hinaki forms with portals, alluding to captivity, containment and release.
Each work in the Hinaki installation can be experienced in a different way:
- The first artwork has a crawl hole into the space, with an internal space just large enough to sit in.
- The second Hinaki has two apertures and may be walked through, entered and exited with care.
- The third artwork has two keyhole slots of different intensities of constraint for visitors to edge or slide through.
James Wright’s Seven Sisters, 2019
Corten Steel and stainless steel, 3500 x 4500 x 4500 mm approx.
Seven Sisters are the seven points of a fallen star representing the Pleiades, a cluster of stars situated in the constellation of Taurus. Often referred to as the Seven Sisters, in Aotearoa we know the cluster as Matariki. When it rises in the north-eastern skies in late May or early June, Matariki signals the start of the new year. In one tradition, Matariki is the mother surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waiti, Waitā, Waipuna-a-rangi and Ururangi. Waiheke’s night sky is a perfect place to view the Sisters and on clear nights the sky offers some of the best stargazing in Auckland.
The work also references the headland on the southern point of Matiatia Bay, known as Te Whetumatarau or the The Many Pointed Star. From this ancient headland, Māori would have been able to study the stars to guide them through the changing seasons and to help them to prepare for ocean voyages. Seven Sisters pays homage to the mana and wairua of this land, the waters and island of the Gulf and speaks to the cultural significance of this landscape beneath our feet and the starry skies above. The sculptured forms represent the Sisters shining brightly in the night sky, sailing across the seas keeping an ever-watchful eye over us.
Jon Hall Brunel’s Kingdom, 2019
Corten steel plate and dome head rivets, 5000 x 150 x 2850 mm approx.
‘Brunel’s Kingdom’ is a steel structure that draws together construction practices associated with the Industrial Revolution, and the natural features of Waiheke Island’s distinctive landscape.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a 19th-century English engineer, responsible for ground-breaking designs and mammoth feats of large scale construction. During his time, the art of blacksmithing contributed greatly to the development of new ideas and the Industrial Revolution. Our modern construction industry is held aloft by a steel skeleton born directly from the industrialised womb of the Old World. It enables us to span large distances, shelters us from the inconveniences of our planet, and provides us with a sense of security.
Today, the perils of industrialisation and its environmental impact are very apparent. And yet the question has to be asked: “Where would we be without it?” As Brunel’s inventions and the Industrial Revolution as a whole undoubtedly caused untold damage to the natural world, so did they inspire many following generations of engineers and contributed significantly to technological growth. By bringing the two elements together, natural form and industrial process, I hope to bring to the viewer a sense of understanding of the important symbiotic role they play in our existence on our planet.