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blue radius 2022

Blue Radius was a curated, collaborative exploration of the ecological emergencies taking place along Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) coastlines, involving sea level rise and the ways in which we damage local marine ecology through ongoing extractive practices, from the mining of coastal sand for construction to permits for marina building on fragile sites.

The Blue Radius exhibiton used a range of discrete engagement strategies to arouse public attention towards consciously engaging with climate and ecological science. It deployed sensorial, emotional, and scientific perspectives to imaginatively engage communities with the phenomena of climate change-induced sea level rise and present a range of relevant scientific information to help communities envision the future and make better environment-influenced decisions. It also included an off-site pop-up exhibition Tara Iti SOS about the impacts of sandmining on marine biodiverstiy.  See Tara Iti SOS exhibition here

The Blue Radius exhibition was opened with an impassioned speech by Bianca Ranson, Protect Pūtiki, about damage to marine ecology caused through the building of an enormous marina on a fragile ecological site at Kennedy Bay, Waiheke Island. She discussed the work, Tuakana Teina, that she and her sister, Te Aata Rangimarie Smith, created for the exhibition. This larger than life carbon stack takes centre stage, representing Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngāpuhi and the Protect Pūtiki activist group (Waiheke Island). Listen to Bianca Ransons opening address here

An evening of talks took place between three invited speakers who discussed how science, politics, and carbon emissions relate to the threat of sea level rise on the Auckland region.  Professor Giovanni Coco (University of Auckland) and Alex Rogers (Hauraki Gulf Forum) shared some data about projected sea level rise in local region of Te Hau Kapua Devonport and the increased warming of Tīkapa Moana. Richard Wallis (The Carbon Cycle Co) expressed the positive impact to be made on the climate through carbon composting and regenerative farming practices. Listen to the talks here


The exhibition employed several visualisation techniques - audio-visual, online gaming, photographic essaying, sculptural - to show connections between human activities and their impacts on the ocean and marine ecology; adaptation options for citizens in response to sea level rise impacts; and the potential for creative engagement to help communities understand more about the impacts of climate change induced sea level rise. View the individual works here

  • Land Radius|2 – an audio-visual exchange between artists, scientists, community members, and activists who share testimony of their observations and frustrations about the ecological emergencies happening in the Haruaki Gulf Marine Park. Directed by Laura Donkers, this meditative film creates awareness of human interdependence with nature through individual perspectives on environments and communities.

  • My Coastal Futures – a new ‘Serious Game’ created especially for the exhibition by NIWA (New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) - provided the player with the experience of decision-making about their coastal property as the sea level rises. The player could decide whether to build a seawall, move their house, or move elsewhere. The game introduced several models that included cost implications and worst case/least case scenarios to allow some elements of chance to enter the game and introduce key information that could create a more engaging, 'real life' experience for the player. Play NIWA's My Coastal Futures game.

  • Coast Under Threat – is a photographic essay by local photographer Stephen Perry that documents the deteriorating structures introduced by authorities and individuals as hard engineering to hold back nature. Piles of imported stones, concrete and rusty steel are photographed far from the cliff face presenting evidence of their temporary nature.

  • Tuakana Teina – a ‘Carbon Stack’ created by Bianca Ranson and Te Aata Rangimarie Smith, forms a towering, tactile, three-dimensional object to stimulate pro-environmental consciousness. It promotes more sustainable ways of living through community food growing and highlights the destruction of Kororā (Little Blue Penguin) habitats with the construction of a controversial 140-berth marina on Waiheke Island.

  • Not Quite a Church | Inciting Public Gathering – is the tarpaulin-based work of Nââwié Tutugoro, which references the raid on Camp Kororā, the activist’s camp on Waiheke Island in 2021.

  • Ngā Aua Rere Kaharunga – is a woven sculpture by Atareta Black who weaves traditional Māori knowledge, genealogy, and traditional stories to convey relationships to the sea, land, and environment

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