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Water and glass affect skylight visibility. Filled rose bowls and trickling water. Three-day install. 3 x 5m.69 Otitori Bay Road, French Bay, Titirangi, Auckland. Completed during McCahon Artist Residency Program
My three months of the residency were spent creating work that employed aspects of the immediate environment as its basis and to refer to, and somewhat replicate, work created by the renowned painter Colin McCahon. Kauri focused on the breaking of a visual plane.
The kitchen in the residency house has a massive skylight over it. The view is of kauri tree and makes the viewer take the posture of a character in a painting McCahon did in his own kitchen in the museum/house next door. His work depicted kauri in a cubist type style with dominant motifs of lines and circles. Arranging on the skylight 20 round glass bowls filled with water and stripes of water fed by a trickle system referenced his technique. Some of the kauri remained visibly uninterrupted.
Only three months after this installation, dying kauri trees have begun to removed from the residency property.
Kauri dieback is a deadly disease, killing kauri trees throughout the Auckland region.
Reports of kauri deaths in the Waitakere ranges in 2007 prompted an investigation by the late Dr Ross Beever (Landcare Research) and Dr Nick Waipara. This work led to the discovery of kauri dieback, a new disease to science. This disease is spread via spores in the soil and can kill kauri trees of all ages. Little is known about the disease and management of parks has been directed toward minimising the spread of soil in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. In 2008, kauri dieback disease was pronounced an unwanted organism by MAF, prompting the formation of a joint agency response and the Kauri Dieback Management team.