Moving to the Coromandel in 2018 certainly did spark a massive transformation in me on many levels.
Being in such close proximity to nature, I started to form personal relationships with the ocean and the trees.
As someone that goes to the beach every day, I started to notice a bit of a problem.... and I committed to picking up all rubbish that I found. This habit became a bit of an obsession.
Within a couple of weeks I had amassed an enormous collection - my very first session along just one short stretch of beach yielded multiple tangles of fishing line, dental floss, large strips of fabric, bullet casings, a toothbrush, a plastic handle, multiple small pieces of hard plastic, aluminium can bottoms, a dummy, plastic ribbon, broken glass, velcro, sponge, rope and a cable ties.
I was shocked and decided to make some art out of it to raise awareness amongst the locals and our visitors.
I thought about how it cloaked the beach and the idea started to form to build a korowai. A cloak which would sit upon a body to represent the ocean.
I chose a body to make that connection - she is us and we are she. Without the ocean we will not survive. Not just our wellness but our survival depends on also on hers.
This piece represents the "tipping point" I believe we have arrived at.
As long as I can remember there have been concerns about the environment but it always seemed like it was in the future.
Well the future is here.
The ocean is full of trash and microplastics. It is embedded in the flesh of the fish that we eat. When we eat this it affects our endocrine system causing hormonal disruption.
My local sea, the Hauraki Gulf has seen a drastic reduction in sea life and health. Kina barrens are taking over due to a lack or sizeable crayfish. Fish numbers are declining. Scallops have all but disappeared.
We KNOW that mother nature has the innate wisdom to heal herself.
We just need to leave it alone.
We also need to shop differently.
We need to demand change from our food providers and change the production of plastic and the way that we recycle.
This is my plea to you - for change.