Auckland Festival of Photography presents work by New Zealand artist, Kate van der Drift.
Water Slows As It Rounds The Bend series is re-visited after its first showing by Sanderson Gallery in the Festival in 2018. In this iteration we share this work using our resistance [ātete] theme as the foundation for van Der Drift's ongoing investigation into the fragile ecology and transformation of the Hauraki Plains.
The groundwater of the present day Plains is tightly controlled; few clues remain of the great fertile wetland, yet concealed in the centre of the gridded farmland lays Kopuatai Peat Dome, the largest unaltered restiad peat bog in New Zealand and unique globally. Acting as a sponge, the Peat Dome protects low-lying farmland from flooding, but in recent years it hasn’t soaked up the excess rain. The relationship between land and water is ever changing. Significant subsidence is occurring throughout the plains, especially in the peat land. By traversing the wetland by foot and kayak, van der Drift pictures areas once full of giant Kahikatea trees that have been crowded out by Willow.
van der Drift would like to acknowledge the tangata whenua of Hauraki especially Ngāti Hako, whose land this work is set in and whose stories are referenced. As well as tau iwi - the farmers, hunters and environmentalists whose relationships to the land are referred to and pictured.
Thanks to Sanderson Gallery and the artist.
Essay by Emil McAvoy - Download here = EA Water Slows Text
Presentation on outdoor lightboxes, supported by Auckland Council City Centre Activation.