To celebrate Earth Day and to open the NZ Festival of Nature Philippa and I worked with Wild Dunedin community volunteers to make a land art sculpture on St Kilda Beach using natural materials found at the site that returned to the sea by the incoming tide.
We marked out the shape of a 25 metre circle on the sand below the high tide line and cordoned it off with ropes. Into this we all dragged and arranged the materials without making footprints on the beach around it, by walking in the wet sand as the tide receded.
The day was cold, windy and intermittently stormy but everyone put their heart and soul into collecting mostly kelp and driftwood. Over three hours of very hard work we completed the installation with some people creating intricate personal art works within the circle.
The whole event was livestreamed with cutaways to interviews, and videos about our art practice. A time lapse and aerial drone footage shot by Graham McArthur document the inspiring outcome, which everyone agreed was a big success.
On Saturday at the Otago Museum Philippa and I gave video presentation of our art practice including the Fine Line project and book and the community beach sculpture.
We thank all the Wild Dunedin organisers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for their contributions to the event
On Monday night our book Fine Line was launched at a well attended function at Edgewater, Lake Wanaka. Our long time friend Gus Roxburgh did a great job as MC and climate scientist Tim Naish spoke of the timeliness and power of Fine Line.
We had timed the launch of the Fine Line book to coincide with the termination of COP26 when we hoped to celebrate the defining moment in history when world leaders finally acted to prevent climate breakdown with an agreement to hold global heating below 1.5 degrees.
Tragically once again governments failed to act decisively enough and the goal of COP26 was not achieved. The fine line we are treading just became even more fine.
But it was a defining moment for Philippa and I after 25 years working on Fine Line around the world – celebrating with so many friends and supporters.
Some asked what will we do next? Our answer – keep creating art about solutions.
Above photograph: Christine White
Below Photographs: Tim Hawkins
We have just returned from adventures in Europe and China, where we opened two exhibitions of our environmental art.
Andorra Land Art Biennale was the first of its kind and Philippa and I were there to open the international festival with Beyond: the Watershed, a stand alone exhibition of 27 large prints installed in the old historic city of Andorra la Vella. We gave a talk with an audio visual at the official opening which presented the body of work over 20 years and the sustainable design philosophy that underpins it. The presentation included the Fine Line Project preview to a packed auditorium and it was very well received.
We explored Andorra and the surrounding mountain valleys where many works were installed in the grand natural landscape. We were hosted by the organising team led by Pere Moles who put the festival together on a limited budget with volunteer help.
After a few days exploring the mountain villages and Cathar castles of the Pyrenees we headed to Paris where we were hosted by the owners of a famous chateau followed by a meeting with a large global corporation before the long flight to China for the opening of our exhibition there.
Curated by Na Risong at Inter Art Centre and Gallery in the 798 Art Zone Beijing, the exhibition was titled, Temporal Landscapes and installation of the framed prints and the videos was directed very professionally by Ying Cui who also translated the catalogue and wall texts into Chinese.
The opening was enlivened by the arrival of the Kiwi contingent led by John B Turner and Ian McDonald who had arrived back from Pingyao International Photography Festival. We all dined together with Inter Gallery staff and visited the Gao Brothers Studio which was an inspiring experience.
The next day we had a public talk/discussion with Lu Guang the multi award winning documentary photographer who has powerfully exposed the environmental degradation currently happening in China.
With invitations to go back to Paris and China next year we are overwhelmed with work on new proposals and excited by the adventurous possibilities they may bring.