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Lines in the Ocean

MEDIA RELEASE 22 July 2015

Lines in the Ocean

5 July – 28 August 2015

In May 2011 nine artists were invited to voyage upon the HMNZS Otago from Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, northward through the Kermadec region, towards the Kingdom of Tonga.

The ‘seariders’—Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, Jason O’Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson and Robin White—all had strong connections to the Pacific, through art, ancestry, upbringing and everyday life.

The voyage provided a rare opportunity to experience the rolling seas, weather, wildlife and islands of the Kermadec region, and to contemplate the way they affect the mind, body and spirit.

The artists' project was initiated by the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group, an organisation which is encouraging protection of this heritage-rich and biologically diverse Kermadec waters through designation of a sanctuary.

Contained within New Zealand's ocean territory, the Kermadec region is one of the few remaining near-pristine ocean sites on the planet. Its sub-tropical islands sit at the northernmost point of our nation’s territory and have a history of Polynesian and European contact that has, until now, rarely featured in our art history or registered on the national psyche.

The exhibition Kermadec – Lines in the Ocean celebrates the artists’ journey and shines a spotlight on the extraordinary and special features that define the Kermadec region and connect us to the Pacific. The exhibition presents some of the key works produced by the artists since the voyage.

These works reflect a wide range of approaches and responses, as well as using a range of media including video, tapa-making, painting, photography, etching, film, sound-recording and poetry.

Going off the map of the known requires the making of new maps, new ways of thinking and seeing; it requires symbols, allegories and the making of subconscious connections. Therein lie the narratives of discovery and enlightenment that are at the heart of these works: the 'lines in the ocean' that show us where we have been, where we are and where we think we might be going.

Exhibition supported by the PEW Charitable Trusts

Toured by Exhibition Services

ends

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