What a delight for Philippa and I to work with young primary school children to make an environmental sculpture at Bremner Bay, Lake Wanaka. This is our local beach where we have made many sculptures over our 18 years living in Wanaka.
There is nothing better for young people than engaging with nature and each other in a wild place and being creative. Learning from nature is what our art practice is about and passing this on to the young is very satisfying and a lot of fun.
“There is no substitute for the deep learning that unfolds through building a connection to our people and place,” said teacher Estelle Moore.
Thanks to Estelle Moore, Jodie and Te Kura O Take Kara school for their initiative in making this happen.
Burning Issues. Land art installation by Martin Hill 2013
The European parliament has declared a climate and ecological emergency. So what urgent actions should governments take?
These are some of the measures that WWF recommends governments can take to legislate to protect the biosphere:
END SUPPORT FOR FOSSIL FUELS
This means phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and using this money to expand renewable sources of energy.
OVERHAUL OF GOVERNMENT FINANCES
Putting climate action at the top of government spending priority list, alongside health, education and security.
STOP POLLUTION FROM OUR HOMES
Legislation that requires all new homes to be zero-carbon and delivering efficiency measures for other homes. This would save money, stop the wasting of energy and reduce emissions.
END PETROL AND DIESEL VEHICLE SALES
Pushing forward our commitment to end sales of diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030 will tackle climate emissions and air pollution.
RESTORE NATURE AND REMOVE CARBON
Restoring nature addresses the natural removal of carbon from our atmosphere. We need to plant trees, restore peatlands, expand wetlands and farm efficiently.
In October over three days of continual storms Philippa and I with our longtime friends Len Gillman, Lea Wilson and David Newstead made the final sculpture No12 on the Fine Line Project on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park.
Huge lenticular clouds driven by the storm rose over the Pinnacles and Mt Ngauruhoe was barely visible until late in the afternoon of the third day, when there was a brief clearing. It was long enough to capture the sculpture in the foreground and the peak of Mt Ngauruhoe where we made the first sculpture on the Fine Line over 20 years ago.
Twelve circles pierce the disc referring to the 12 sculptures connected by the Fine Line around the earth.
With the ecological climate crisis upon us the world now enters its most critical stage in history, humanity’s choice of trajectory will decide its fate. With this in mind we feel the Fine Line Project could not be more relevant.
Huge thanks to all those who have helped us along the way.
We are now working on the book and digital media.
We are delighted to have received samples of three perfumes in our collaborative perfume project with Celine Verleure of Olfactive Studio in Paris.
Each of the three beautifully packaged fragrances in the Sepia Collection were launched internationally this month.
Celine’s concept is to team up a perfumer – in this case Bertrand Duchaufour – with a photographer to create a perfume evocative of an image.
I was pleased to be invited recently to write for a new media company that is creating a multimedia platform for sharing exceptional ideas, insights, and analysis with the global community. Fair Observer aims to enable their audience to make sense of the world by focusing on issues, events and trends of global significance, and integrating a plurality of perspectives: “providing a 360° view of the world”. They intend to be “the improved 21st century version of The Economist – with exceptional analysis sourced from a network of thought leaders in diverse disciplines from across the globe”.
Fair Observer’s Arts and Culture Desk asked for my perspective on Land Art and Environmental Art accompanied examples of my work.
Read my full article and enjoy Fair Observer:
The combination of clear skies and no wind for several days provided an opportunity to visit my favorite alpine landscape to create new works. Philippa and I climbed up to the Cascade Saddle area in Mt Aspiring National Park and camped for two glorious starry nights.
Finding just the right snow-fed tarn late on the first afternoon, I went to work wading out to make a simple work by floating dry tussock stems. To avoid disturbing the water’s surface meant staying motionless while controlling both the sculpture and the camera.
The sun dipped below the ridge after a few minutes, throwing shadows across my efforts, but I had captured the moment when it all came together as I had planned. The south west ridge of Mt Aspiring beyond – the site of my personal climbing tragedy – draws the eye between the light of the west face down which John fell and the shadow of the south face, and is reflected in the still surface of the tarn. The warm sunlight brought the sculpture alive against the inky shadows of the water. This sublime scene reminds me how delicate and precious life is.
After a freezing night the dawn ushered in another perfect day. Finding remnant frozen snow patches provided the material for another fleeting sculpture. Once placed in the tarn the snow sculpture soon melted, but again I had caught its reflected form along with the high peaks. The image resonates with me about our changing climate and the world’s disappearing ice.
The rest of the day was spent exploring this delicate alpine world high above the Matukituki and Dart Valleys before climbing back up to the ridge above the Matukituki to camp and make a final sculpture from some of the many flat schist rocks.