Solander Gallery in Wellington have recently received some new works
by artist Jo Ogier from Christchurch. So thought I'd post a few on here too...
These impressive large works look at some of the reasons why
many of our NZ species have been pushed to the brink of extinction.
I saw this particular piece (below) when I was in Wellington over summer.
It is even more interesting in real life, as some of the colours are 'metalic',
(like the gold of the outer illustrations, and silver of the gun barrel, etc)
which aren't easily replicated in photos, and it is big - almost a metre wide!
Jo Ogier writes: In Huia’s Lament I am looking at the many aspects surrounding the Huia
including their extraordinary beauty and their rapid and tragic demise.
A situation compounded by the loss of habitat and their value as adornment.
Huia feathers and dried skins were considered as tapu (scared) to the Maori
and the wearing of its skin or feathers was reserved for people of high status.
The European need to adorn themselves with Huia feathers for their hats and beaks for novelty jewellery
lead to a bounty being placed on the birds at one stage, and up to £5 being paid for a single good quality feather.
The last confirmed sighting of the Huia was on 28 December 1907 in the Tararua Ranges.
Jo Ogier writes: The Kokako has a beautiful, clear, organ-like song. Its call can carry for kilometres.
They can sing together in a bell-like duet for up to an hour in the early morning.
The Kokako does not fly so much as glide with wings that are relatively short and rounded.
Dependent on the forest floor for foraging, its ecological niche is frequently compared to that of a flying squirrel.
Jo Ogier writes: I found this image of a tobacco tin when searching for references to the Huia on the internet.
The tin was made in my home town of Nelson around 1940
and is part of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection.
I found it ironic that a company would use an extinct bird as a marketing tool
for a product which is obviously detrimental to ones health.
Or was the throaty wattle sound you aspired to by smoking the cigarettes?
No doubt times have changed and health warnings would now come on the tins!
I really like these new works!!! Looking forward to seeing more!
Check out other works in the series by Jo Ogier on Solander Gallery website