Estuary Art & Ecology Prize 2018

I'm really happy to have this painting selected as a finalist in this year's Estuary Art & Ecology Prize!  I entered a couple about the Tamaki Estuary and this one is called "Disturbance in the Tamaki Estuary.  I'll write a bit about it below this image....

The exhibition is on at the Malcolm Smith Gallery, 35 Uxbridge Road, Howick, from 9th July to 17th August

Disturbance in the Tamaki Estuary,  Oil and ink on 600gsm card


The estuary is a complex system of fresh water flow, tidal action, wind, and waves that change and impact its nature.  The addition of nearby residential and infrastructure construction developments add a disturbance to the health of the estuary.  It is an example of how our land is affected by the consumeristic approach to housing and infrastructure development in New Zealand.

This painting offers a turbulent image of an estuary struggling with the impacts of foreign matter into its ecosystem, rhythms, and processes.  Structurally the painting is divided by a line that hints at horizon or edge, but both above and below there is confusion where brushwork jostles and pokes about with liveliness and agitation.

I made this painting after visiting the Tamaki Estuary and making notes and sketches of the wetlands, waterways, and sky, and how they were all tossed about by the wind on the day that I was there.  

I was reminded of Jane Bennett’s writing on Vital Materialism, where she suggests things have a connected kind of relationship, this painting could indicate a new and complex relationship between the pollution being funnelled into the estuary and the natural environment.