NEWS May 07, 2012

Kermadec: Expeditions and Connections, at The Window in Auckland

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Kermadec: Expeditions and Connections has opened at The Window, the studio space at the National Library Auckland Centre. Vibrant with image, word and sound in its latest programme and exhibition explores one of the world’s few pristine environments. The Kermadec trench is New Zealand’s largest marine reserve. The ocean region is the product of a violent collision between two continental plates and represents a territory of exceptional diversity.

Kermadec: Expeditions and Connections. Photo by Spencer Levine.
Photo by Sam Hartnett.

Shaped in conjunction with the Pew Environmental Group to explore significant expeditions, journeys and connections to the Kermadec region, this programme offers an exciting insight and resource for schools and public alike.

The Window studio space in Auckland is rich with images that reflect the breadth of schools' curriculum including science, social history, geography and art. In 2011, an expedition saw nine prominent New Zealand artists travel to the region on the HMNZS Otago. The artists' consequent work counterpoints a wealth of curated imagery, audio, visual and textual material to grapple with the rare biodiversity of this blue expanse.

A section of the exhibition makes note of The Bell family who were early in the settlement of Raoul Island. The book Crusoes of Sunday Island celebrates the lonely and often arduous life on what was to become the northern most territory of New Zealand. Getting wind of the programme, and the role of the National Library, just before the opening, descendants of the Bells generously donated original family photographs and documents of this era. It was a moment of moving recollection and one of the palpable connections that the programme and exhibition seeks to celebrate.

An early visitor from the nearby Department of Conservation said that the exhibition was “stunning” and to expect a steady stream of keen and interested department staff.

A schools’ programme will complement the exhibition, where National Library staff will work with students to engage their curiosity encourage them to build their understanding, and generate intellectual and creative responses.

The programme will run until 21 September 2012.