Tag Archives: HMNZS Otago

Kermadec exhibition opens in Wgtn today


In celebration of the government’s announced intention to create the Kermadec Marine Sanctuary (only the 4th biggest in the world!) the Kermadec artists have put together a ‘final’ exhibition here in Wellington.

Hosted by Pataka, the show is on at the Academy Gallery on Queens Wharf from today

All the original artists (Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, John Pule, John Reynolds. Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White and me of course) are represented, most with new works. I have new photographic works and a video instillation.

I would also highly recommend coming to one of the shows put on the the theatre group Company of Giants, who will be performing Rangitahua from the 15th until the 19th (2pm and 7pm). Book at iticket.co.nz. It is a great show that weaves it’s way among the audience and exhibition telling the story of the Kermadecs.

More on the Kermedac project

Surface Tension – video installation


A new work that has just been installed in the Kermadec Exhibition at the Tjibaou centre in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

It is titled “Surface Tension” and represents the tussle between the ‘opposing currents’ of PEW/artists and the NZ Government as they meet at the line in the ocean that is the Kermadecs. The calls of the various proponents for and against can be heard over the unerring rhythmic beat of the ocean. At one stage the debate escalates and the waters redden but the ocean roars back and returns bluer than ever. It is deliberately left inconclusive.

The soundtrack is actually constructed from recordings I made when we were “hands to bathe” (swimming) on the Tropic of Capricorn – slowed down, layered and played backwards in an attempt to represent an inverted take on the moment (i.e. when viewed from below). The video was shot using my home-made lens.

Here is a sneak preview:



New Kermadec works

Ocean eats man‘Ocean eats man’. Bruce Foster dives into the deep blue from the helipad of the HMNZS Otago. Tropic of Capricorn. 2011

The Kermadec: Hands to Bathe Exhibition features a good proportion of previously unseen works by all the artists including these ‘documentary’ shots of mine.

John is waiting Mr Key

‘Don’t keep John waiting Mr Key’. John Reynolds on the deck of the HMNZS Otago, Kermadecs, 2011

If by your art‘If by your art you have raised this dreadful storm, have pity on their sad distress’, HMNZS Otago, Kermadecs, 2011

Also new but not on show in Devonport are these diptychs:

a fish called fender

‘A fish called fender’ HMNZS Otago 2011

On a Line‘On a line’, HMNZS Otago 2011


See more Kermadec works on the exhibition website

Kermadec workshops

Dame Robin White Artist

Dame Robin White painting mural as part of school program. Devonport 2013

As part of the Kermadec: Hands to Bathe exhibition we (Robin White, Greg O’Brien, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Elizabeth Thomson and I) helped the Navy Museum to run workshops for local schools. We talked the kids through the show and worked with them as they created their own art and collectively created a mural for the museum. Great fun and a great opportunity for me to photograph the other artists at work (see photo of Robin above).

Navy exhibition


Sea change

Sea change (approaching Raoul), 2011

The Kermadec : Hands to Bathe exhibition is now open at the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum in Devonport, Auckland. It is fantastic to again join forces with the Navy and hopefully go a little way toward paying them back for the ride to Raoul Island. The exhibition kicked off with a great opening night and was followed by the artists working with school groups in workshops over the following few days.

A good third of the works on display have never been shown before including these two prints by me. Sea change (above) and Gunner John (below) were both taken on the HMNZS Otago as we approached Raoul Island. I think the talented Greg O’Brien best sums up the works when he described Sea change like this: “Taken a few nautical miles to the south of Raoul Island in the half-light of the early morning, O’Hara’s photograph of the bow of the HMNZS Otago evokes earlier epochs of marine voyaging as well as recording the moment when, just beyond the picture frame, Raoul Island first came into view. The timelessness of this encounter was enhanced by the artist’s decision to use a modern-day digital camera to which he attached an old-fashioned lens.”

Gunner JohnGunner John, John Reynolds on the HMNZS Otago, 2011

Both available as limited edition prints. Image size 363 x 240mm.
Framed $400. Unframed $200.


Visit the Kermadec Exhibition Website

torpedo bay



Yeap it is the big time! The Kermadec “Lines in the ocean” Exhibition is now in Hamilton at the Waikato Museum. 25 July until 20 October 2013.

Here is a couple a shots from the opening – it is always a good sign when there is dancing at an exhibition opening!

Hamilton openingHamilton opening

Full screen Kermadec web-o-net goodness!

Kemadec website


Fresh on the inter-webo-net. The brand new official Kermadec exhibition website in all its full screen image goodness. Plenty to look at, read, video’s, artist bios … you name it. Pretty much the Kermadec Book online + more . Features work by all the Kermadec artists: (Phil Dadson,Bruce FosterFiona HallGregory O’BrienJohn PuleJohn ReynoldsElizabeth ThomsonRobin White) Darn fine!


More on the Kermadec Project

Full Fathom Five

Full fathom five


“Full fathom five” 2012 Photographic three part collage on archival inkjet print on rag. Framed size 1375 x 580mm

For the current City Gallery exhibition I have created a new edition of Full Fathom Five. Much bigger than the previous print of this image this edition comprises three separate large prints floated together in one frame. Both editions are available for sale – details here

Full Fathom Five is a photo of Raoul Island in New Zealand’s remote Kermadec region. It was taken from the HMNZS Otago as we departed for Tonga. Inspired by the Bell family it was taken with a 100 year old camera lens on a modern digital SLR and features a hand inscribed quote from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” – one of the few books the Bell family took with them the Raoul (then Sunday Island) in the late 1800′s.

More about the Kermadec Project

Full fathom fiveat hanging in City Gallery Wellington

Full Fathom Five in City Gallery Wellington 2012

Wakey Wakey Wakey Wellington!

Wakey Wakey WakeyThe Kermadec exhibition has finally made it to Wellington! Nothing bets a hometown crowd and what a crowd it was at the opening – absolutely packed!

We take over the entire ground floor of Wellington’s City Gallery for the next 4 months. 4 October 2012 – 10 February 2013.

This time the show is titled “Wakey, Wakey, Wakey” – a call for action to the politicians of this fair land that it is time for action. Time to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Kermadec trench (learn all about it on the Kermadec website)

The show features work of all 9 artists: Phil DadsonBruce FosterFiona HallGregory O’BrienJohn PuleJohn ReynoldsElizabeth ThomsonRobin White and me of course.

I will join some of the other Kermadec artists in a floor talk this Saturday 6th October at 2pm. Please join us – it’s free!

See my work from the show and learn more about the project in the works section of the site.

Wakey, wakey, wakey" opening 3 Oct 2012

“Wakey, wakey, wakey” Opening night 3rd October 2012

The capricorn experiments

The Capricorn Experiments

The Capricorn Experiments  1-6” 2012. 280 x 280mm

More work inspired by swimming on the Tropic of Capricorn during the Kermadec trip. I wanted to capture the magical colour generated in the water by the propulsion jets of  the RHIBs and our own dives. These a stills from the same studio photoshoot as the video work “Hands to Bathe”

Prints of each image are for sale here

Bruce Foster dives

Kermadec exhibition in Auckland

After a very successful time in Tauranga Art Gallery, the Kermadec exhibition is in the process of being installed in the Voyager New Zealand Maratime Museum exhibition space in Auckland ready to be opened to the public next week.

It is open from the 15th of Feb until the 1st of July. A fantastic opportunity to see the work of some superb NZ artists and learn about one of the most unique places on the planet.

Kermadecs in Auckland

Kermadec video in progress

"Hands to bathe" installation impression“Hands to bath: Capricorn 12” Video instillation 2011

View the video here

Still a bit of a work in progress but showing promise so far. Really best if you wear headphones – also helps if you can imagine that it is projected really huge on a wall in front of you!

Bruce Foster divesThis piece was inspired by swimming on the Kermadec trip as crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. (You can see actual video footage of us swimming in Bruce’s videos).

While swimming I found myself fascinated by the stunning blueness of the water and the iridescent traces created by air-bubbles as we dived in. I found myself visualizing how this strange event might look to the inhabitance of the water below us.

The sound track is based on the actual sound recordings made at the time but slowed down and played backwards to complete the inversion of the scene. Somewhat appropriately it sounds very much like whale-song.

Watch this space to see where this project ends up…

View the video here