A Crown for the Kermadec King 1
O'Brien, Gregory Date
2011 See full details
In May 2011, the artists took part in an expedition to the Kermadec Islands – a project initiated by the PEW Environment Group to encourage protection of this heritage-rich and biologically diverse ocean sanctuary environment. The artists voyaged by ship from Auckland to Raoul Island, through the Kermadec ocean region, one of the last relatively untouched wilderness areas on the planet.
The week-long voyage provided an opportunity for the artists to experience the region's rolling seas, weather, and wildlife. The works they produced in response utilise an abundance of materials, methods, and ideas sourced from Pacific handcrafts, poetry, waiata, jewellery, maritime painting traditions, and scientific photography. This suite of etchings inspired by this voyage was gifted to Wellington City Council for the Kermadec exhibition at City Gallery Wellington.
Elizabeth Thomson’s La Planete Sauvage – Another Blue World depicts a mosaic of blue glass beads; Fiona Hall’s Scrimshaw depicts the corporate hunt for fishing and mining on a whale tooth carving and coffin; Phil Dadson’s Pacific Canon shows the seven underwater volcanoes and reads “ Through the rays of the sun, through the air that we breathe, through the currents of the sea, through the pulse of the earth.”; Gregory O’Brien’s A crown for the Kermadec King references a universal view of equations, palmistry, symbols, plants, celestial bodies and marine microfossils; John Pule’s Great World Waiting continues his uses of symbolic angels, tropical plants, and church-like structures; John Reynolds’ Echo expresses concerns about the threat this ocean is under; Bruce Foster’s 24 frames, one second, thousands of years, small tiled photographs of the passage of a wave, Jason O’Hara’s Crossing #4, a Black and white photograph of a time-lapsed wave taken through ship railings and Dame Robin White’s Braveheart, a blue-and-white willow pattern plate depicting the Bell family and Raoul Island scene of native trees and birds.
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