An Auckland Council Exhibition Series at Community Art Centres in 2012-2013 featuring emerging curators working with leading, established and emerging artists.
Movements for Tidal Voices
You are entering a reverential space created by two of New Zealand’s most distinctive visual artists, Bronwynne Cornish and Christine Hellyar. Friends and colleagues for many years, this installation represents their first truly collaborative project. Cornish and Hellyar have created sculptures including found ‘treasures’ carried by the tides and washed ashore on Orewa Beach.
Cornish’s Lair of the Taniwha (2012) is inspired by a local legend  about a ferocious Taniwha, that lived in a waterfall near the Kowhai Road Bridge. In the gallery, the Taniwha jealously guards its egg, Taniwhauo Hibiscii (2012). In Christine Hellyar’s Combings (2012), foreshore creatures featuring lumps of crystalline ambergris and tendrils of seaweed dance across the gallery floor among plates and vases in a subterranean landscape.
A trunk of birch found on the Orewa foreshore forms the body of Cornish’s fearsome Taniwha. Similarly, washed-ashore roots of punga and ginger cast in bronze complete the bodies of Hellyar’s intriguing creatures. With an endless array of fragments comprising washed-up native and introduced flora and fauna, as well as manmade objects, the beach is an interesting signifier of a place, for our coasts are as synonymous with our impressions of the local landscape and seascape, as native bush and local history.
After exploring the upstairs Hibiscus gallery, take a small journey downstairs to the Tui gallery. Here, Christine Hellyar’s drawings line the walls, immersing you in a world of luscious greens and vibrant blues. Drawing is an integral part of Hellyar’s artistic practice. Hellyar is captivated by organic forms and the rich intensity of the natural world at our doorstep and these drawings of Auckland’s rainforests fittingly depict the visceral, seasonally-changing landscape of the region.
Libby Brickell, October 2012
Movements for Tidal Voices (2-25 November 2012) was part of Auckland Council’s Archipelago exhibition series, an initiative to foster new voices in the arts and take a wide range of outstanding visual art to communities in north Auckland. Comprising of four installations arranged by upcoming curators and happening at art centres across north Auckland between July 2012 and February 2013, in this series each curator aims to explore our sense of place.
(1) Robin Grover. Why the Hibiscus? Place Names of the Hibiscus Coast. Silverdale Printing. 2008. pp33.