INDEPENDENT NEWS

Nature-inspired Artwork And Poetry Celebrated In Exhibition

Published: Thu 15 Feb 2024 10:37 AM
Artwork and poetry inspired by 13 Forest & Bird nature reserves will be exhibited together for one time only in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The public viewing event at Lopdell House, Titirangi will open at midday on Sunday 18 February.
The collection was created for a creative conservation project as part of Forest & Bird's centennial celebrations. Titled '26 Forest & Bird Centennial', the project aims to harness the power of art and poetry to inspire and connect New Zealanders with te taiao nature.
Twenty-six artists and writers were randomly paired up and travelled to 13 of Forest & Bird’s 128 nature restoration projects nationwide. All the reserves are maintained by the charity’s volunteers.
The artists used different techniques and materials to create original artworks that responded to the landscape, people, species, and conservation challenges encountered during the visit.
Writers were tasked with creating a centena – a poem of exactly 100 words that must start and finish with the same three words – and a 260-word essay inspired by their visit.
“It was a delight to paint the magical beauty of Tarapuruhi Bushy Park in Whanganui,” says artist Lee Byford-Daynes, who was paired with writer Catherine Macdonald.
Lee’s oil painting, Woven, is one of 13 original art pieces on display at the event. Writers will deliver live readings of their short poems and essays.
“The 26 Forest & Bird Centennial project is an opportunity to honour the mahi of our hardworking volunteers while inspiring more people to apply their passion and skills to protecting te taiao,” says Forest & Bird’s chief executive Nicola Toki.
“The Forest & Bird whānau is thrilled to have welcomed the 26 New Zealand writers and artists to our projects so they could see the important work conservation volunteers are doing around the country.
“Each creative pair has captured the beauty, fragility, and ecological importance of these conservation efforts at-place.
“The writers and artists have dedicated a huge amount of time, creativity, and aroha to this project and the results are spectacular.”
The project is being run in partnership with 26, a global not-for-profit writers’ collective that sets up projects around the world, most recently focusing on environmental and climate issues (26.org.uk).Writer-editors Jane Berney, Paul White, and Jayne Workman, from the Aotearoa chapter of 26, have been leading the creative side of the project.
“It was a privilege to visit these nature sanctuaries, meet Forest & Bird’s branch volunteers and staff, hear about the conservation challenges they face, and see the difference they are making for native flora and fauna,” says Jane Berney.
The collaboration comes as part of Forest & Bird’s year of centennial celebrations, marking 100 years of conservation mahi. Forest & Bird was launched by a passionate volunteer, Captain Ernest ‘Val’ Sanderson, on 28 March 1923.
In that time, Sanderson employed artists, cartoonists, and journalists to spread the word about vanishing nature and published art and original writing to educate adults and children about the value of protecting te taio for all New Zealanders.
Artworks, poems, essays, and photos created for 26 Forest & Bird Centennial are available to view here.

Next in Lifestyle

Youth Week: A Time To Celebrate Rangatahi In Aotearoa
By: Ara Taiohi
TDDA Offers New Advanced Drug Awareness Training
By: The Drug Detection Agency
750 Deaths A Year: Why New Zealand Needs Prostate Screening Programme
By: Prostate Cancer Foundation
Anno 2020's Aussie Producer Celebrates Sold-out Screenings Of This Kiwi-helmed Movie
By: Lance Morcan
Othello In London
By: Howard Davis
Manawatū Mountain Bike Club Scores Big With $100,000 NZCT Grant
By: NZCT
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media