From the beauty of tiny phytoplankton through to the gargantuan majesty of leviathans from the deep, the wonders of the ocean in art form have opened at the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
Ocean and I showcases work from across Hawke’s Bay by emerging and established artists, from world-renowned maker David Trubridge to students of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. It opened this weekend and runs through to 31 October.
Amy Stevens, National Aquarium of New Zealand education manager, says all the works are great examples of artists sharing their connection to the sea.
“One of the works asks people to think about what they would stop doing in order to help save the ocean,” Amy says when she explains the significance of Michelle Nichols’ work Barcode. “It’s a work made entirely from recycled materials, right down to the canvas and brushes. It includes found objects from the beach, as well as discarded paint.”
“Our theme this year is migration so artists have explored migratory movement of wildlife and of humans, and the link we all have to te moana,” explains Amy. “As part of the exhibition there are activities for visitors as they journey through the aquarium, including weaving using recycled material. “
Ocean and I, this year, carries its ‘migration’ theme into the National Aquarium’s two-week School Holiday programme.
“To tie in with the exhibition, we’ll host activities such as Antarctic exploration, understanding microscopic travellers, and ocean migration with waka building using items found on the beach,” Amy says. “We’re also doing two late night events, one for families and one for adults.”
The evening events were very popular last year. This year, the family event includes face painting and art activities. The other is for adults only and includes a cash bar and snacks, and features an artist creating caricatures.
Artwork is displayed throughout the National Aquarium from 23 September to 31 October.
Image: Education Manager Amy Stevens and Michelle Nichols with her art work ‘Barcode’
31 October 2023
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