17 Oct 2021
For artist Sarah Hunter, the coast in central Hawke’s Bay means many things. Now based in Wellington, she grew up as a fourth-generation resident only 15 minutes from the Pōrangahau estuary.
She is the designer of a collaborative art installation ‘EMOH’ exploring the environment on the Pōrangahau coast. This immersive exhibit, part of Wild Creations (a joint initiative between the Department of Conservation and Creative New Zealand), is a series of light boxes featuring her photography (Transmit) from the area. Hand-folded by origami artist Juliet Black (Blacklight), the experience is accompanied with environmental recordings by sound artist Dr Thomas Voyce (Rhombus).
Wild Creations gives artists the chance to connect with the people, stories, and challenges of our unique environment and cultures.
Pōrangahau School tamariki have contributed creative drawings and words featuring on two of the folded vertical light boxes. They agree: “Our Awa Taurekaitai and our Moana Te Paerahi are very special to us. They give us kai, happiness, and whānau fun times. They give us a place to play, a place to think and a place to connect with those who have gone before us. They are our taonga - our past, our present and our future.”
These places are all part of a unique natural ecosystem rich with biodiversity, where sand dunes and wetlands provide shelter and sanctuary for coastal bird life.
Sarah Hunter says: “These remarkable places deserve aroha and protection. We hope they will be safe for future generations to enjoy and for the natural ecosystem to flourish.”
“Pōrangahau is a special coastal environment well worth the attention of this collaborative project sponsored by DOC and Creative New Zealand. We know this coast and estuary area is one of our top district 'hotspots' for coastal bird biodiversity, as well as being an area cherished by locals and visitors,” says Chris Wootton, Senior Community Ranger, DOC Hawke’s Bay District.
“Wild Creations helps enable people to experience and understand the special places in nature we identify with in Te Matau a Maaui/Hawke’s Bay. We’re pleased to have EMOH and Sarah Hunter highlight the special nature of Pōrangahau.”
The exhibition launches on Thursday, October 21 and runs over Labour Day Weekend to Saturday October 23 at Pōrangahau Hall, free entry. Rhombus Sound System will accompany the show with a DJ set on the final night at the Pōrangahau Country Club on Sunday 24 October.