Insight into the Kermadecs — 13.07.11 design director Jason O'€™Hara shares the deck with Arts Foundation Award recipients.

In the far north of New Zealand’s waters lies a natural wonderland called the Kermadec Islands. International environmental group, the Pew Environment Group, sent nine artists to the Kermadecs to explore and create. The expedition included Laureates Phil Dadson, John Pule and John Reynolds, New Generation Curator, Gregory O’Brien and Jason O’Hara.

Jason O'HaraJason O’Hara is the Design Director at the Arts Foundation’s design partner Insight . Jason is the creative mastermind behind and is an artist living and working in Breaker Bay, Wellington. Jason is a visual artist working in photography, painting, collage and wood.

The Arts Foundation is very grateful to the Pew Environment Group and to Jason for allowing us to present some of Jason’s photography from the Kermadec exhibition in the gallery below. Jason’s work, along with the other artists, will go on display at the Tauranga Art Gallery in November this year.

Pew Environment Group Kermadec Project Director, Bronwen Golder said; “We want to grow New Zealanders awareness of the importance of protecting the Kermadec Islands. They are abundant with extraordinary animal life and are of great scientific importance. The artist project is a celebration of the Kermadecs and an opportunity for New Zealanders to learn more about the region”. The Pew Environment Group has launched a website , designed by Insight, to provide information and resources about the Kermadecs.

Artist Statement - Jason O'Hara
It would be impossible for this trip not to be one of the highlights not only of my artistic career but of my life. To have the opportunity to travel to the most northern part of New Zealand, the second deepest part of the worlds oceans with such a talented group of artists is an honor. I have seen some of the work being produced for the exhibition and is is going to be fantastic. Hopefully it will help make people realize that NZ is lucky to have a place as pristine the Kermadecs.

The photographs below are a mix of photos taken to document the trip and more emotive works that will be part of the exhibition. Although I have started a couple of paintings based on the trip, I think I will be concentrating on photographic works for the show. Themes I am exploring vary from the sea voyage itself, to works inspired by the Bell family - an early settler family that lived in isolation on Raoul Island for 35years. Anyone interested in further reading or following the build up to the exhibition can do so via my website/blog.