Artists put heat on New Zealand Government to protect one of the last great wildernesses on the planet
Last year a group of artists from the South Pacific region, including Phil Dadson and John Reynolds, travelled on HMNZS Otago to a place rarely explored – the Kermadec Islands. The project was an initiative of the Pew Environment Group's Global Ocean Legacy programme, which promotes the designation of large, highly-protected marine reserves.
The resulting exhibition, Kermadecs: Nine artists in the South Pacific, opens tonight at Auckland's Maritime Museum.
Dadson and Reynolds see the exhibition as a way to underpin efforts to protect the region, placing pressure the New Zealand government to protect the Kermadecs for all time by designating it as a marine sanctuary, free from fishing and mineral exploitation, making it the world's biggest marine reserve.”The Challenge is to try to find a voice, an effective voice, for expressing concerns about the very real threat this part of the ocean is under”, says Reynolds. “We understand from PEW that the National Government caucus agrees it's a worthy cause, but it remains unactioned.”
Image: NASA photograph of Raoul Island, the Kermadecs, and still from Phil Dadson's video PAX (2011)