Limited Edition Prints I (2014 – Auckland Region)

Contemporary artists and designers Charlotte Graham (Ngati Mahuta, Ngai Tai, Ngati Tamaoho, Scottish), Philip Kelly, Tessa Laird, Natalie Robertson (Ngati Porou, Clan Donnachaidh) and Haruhiko Sameshima were commissioned to produce new works addressing the social, cultural and historical value of the kauri tree, one of our most beloved native species, in the face of the threat posed by kauri dieback disease.

Series I was produced with support from Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, the Kauri Dieback Management Programme, Chartwell Trust, Opticmix and Soar Print. The artworks were first exhibited at Te Uru’s predecessor – Lopdell Offsite in New Lynn (see above for current list of exhibitions).

Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper ($230 +p&p)
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Te Wai o Te Kauri, 2014
Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper
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My work depicts a variety of manu / birds, as they are the children of Tane Mahuta (god of the forest). Kauri is the tuakana, the elder of all trees. Kauri gifts us waka, representing balance, and kauri gum represents tears or grief. Kauri bark nurtures other plants, nourishing and conditioning its own root systems. Native birds are inscribed in colours pertaining to their natural cloak over the kauri ring - the blueprint to whakapapa. Like a chorus, these manu speak in both Maori and English.

Tiakina I te whenua (protect the land).
Tiakina I te kauri (protect the kauri).
Kia whakatika ra (correct it now).
Kauri, love, education and more.

The manu speak of their habitat, our environment, asking us to focus on kauri and the kauri dieback disease, which is slowly killing our elder tree. They ask that we listen, learn and, like the song’s chorus, educate ourselves in how we can help stop the spreading of this disease when we enter the forest.

Auckland-based, Charlotte Graham is of Scottish and Waikato descent – Ngati Mahuta, Ngai Tai, Ngati Tamaoho. From a generation of Maori artists who draw on their tribal heritage in order to explore critical issues affecting New Zealand society such as racism, indigeneity and land rights, her recent work explores notions of politics and healing.

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IHI, 2014
Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper
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Ihi means power or life-force. When seeing large kauri, the onlooker is filled with the feeling of wehi (awe). This image was taken at home in Titirangi in early 2013 – the fallen leaves of a large living tree under stress after the long dry summer. The image implies an environment under pressure, yet depicts part of the natural process of a living kauri. The hand drawn type echoes stands of young kauri in the forests of Waitakere. This lettering, in combination with the image, seeks to communicate the value of kauri as a natural taonga requiring the greatest care and protection.

Based in Titirangi, Auckland, Philip Kelly works in visual communications. His 30-year career encompasses graphic design, art direction, typography, and photography, alongside sporadic exhibiting of his own artwork. In 2013 Philip co-curated and designed the exhibition We Will Work With You: Wellington Media Collective 1978 -1998 with Chris McBride, for The Adam Art Gallery, Wellington.

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Cosmic Tree, 2014
Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper
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The Tree of Life is a pan-cultural symbol that occupies a central role in various cosmologies as the giver of life and the font of knowledge. This design references a few of those traditions, including Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree of Norse Mythology; Nookomis Giizhig, or Grandmother Cedar to the Ojibway of North America; and of course, our own Tane Mahuta, who brought us into Te Ao Marama, the world of light. The Tree of Life sustains ecosystems – in Aotearoa, Kauri provide roosting habitats for our endangered native bats (pekapeka). The Tree of Life provides potent symbolism, reminding us to be grounded and strong while still reaching for the stars. Trees of Life are celebrated in the Árbol de la Vida candelabras of Mexico, as well as the Menorah of Judaism. Here, lighted candles also reference the pagan tree worship of Old Europe, which lives on in the Christmas tree tradition. These candles are both a celebration of the life force of New Zealand Kauri, and mourning for the ongoing loss of these gentle giants. Unless we can reawaken our ancestral reverence for trees by placing them back at the centre, not just the margins of our lives, we may lose them forever.

Tessa Laird is an Auckland-based artist, writer and lecturer. She recently completed her Doctorate of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, looking at the revolutionary potential of colour, including the psychedelic poster art of the 1960s. In 2013 Tessa’s book of fictocritical writings on colour, A Rainbow Reader, was published by Clouds.


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Trounson Kauri Park, 2002
Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper
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This image is from eco-Tourism, a project I began in 1994. Focusing on four sites of culture – high cultural institutions, consumer institutions, tourist sites, the landscape and environment – this body of work maps out cultural display strategies found in New Zealand, and explores larger questions around photography as a discipline – its documentation of, and participation in, spectacle. I photographed landscapes using an aesthetic approach that referenced photographs in nearby museum and gallery collections. In this sense eco-Tourism is a dual project: about relationships between attractions and money (the tourism industry), and about the history of photography and the way our country has been imaged over two centuries.

Haruhiko Sameshima is an Auckland-based photographer, publisher and occasional writer, and part-time teacher of photography in tertiary art schools. On-going photographic projects include ‘eco-Tourism’ and ‘Souvenir’, a series exploring international tourist sites. His work has been widely published and exhibited in New Zealand and overseas.

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Kauri Camouflage, 2014
Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper
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The phrase ‘Kauri Ki Uta, Kauri Ki Tai’ was gifted to The Kauri Project by Te Roroa artist Will Ngakuru as a call for kauri to once more clothe the landscape from mountain to sea. This photograph depicts the classic kauri bark ‘camouflage’ pattern, taken from a tree on Kohu Rd, Titirangi, overlaid with the faint silhouette of a recently dead kauri on nearby Tanekaha St. Kauri dieback spores are unseen, spreading hidden within the soil. The dead kauri foreshadows what lies ahead if we can’t halt that spread.

Born in Kawerau, New Zealand, Natalie Robertson (Ngati Porou, Clan Donnachaidh) makes photographic and moving image works that explore Maori knowledge practices and cultural landscapes. Her practice engages with conflicting settler and indigenous relationships to land and place. She has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally. Robertson is also a founding member of the Auckland-based collective Local Time, which facilitates site-specific projects that speak to local and indigenous contexts.


About the Posters

The Kauri Project commissions works by New Zealand artists addressing kauri. The artworks are produced as limited edition digital prints on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper. The educational posters are printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.

The works are created as a limited edition archival quality digital art print for sale and exhibition. A framed exhibition set is maintained by The Kauri Project.

These works are also offset printed as free posters, bearing information about kauri dieback, the art and artists on the reverse. The posters are distributed free through our events and exhibitions and through schools and other public institutions.

The Poster Series fulfils multiple goals:

  • Promoting love and respect for kauri as an iconic species, and important part of our natural and cultural heritage.

  • Spreading awareness of kauri dieback disease and hygiene protocols to prevent spreading the disease, and keeping the issue in peoples’ consciousness.

  • Building recognition of art as an important method of engagement and communication.

  • Providing access to high quality art for education providers, community organisations and individuals.

  • Promoting New Zealand art and artists widely to new audiences, and supporting New Zealand artists by paying them for their work.

    All artworks are for sale

  • Contact The Kauri Project for sales


    All edition works are $230 including GST. Packaging and post costs will be added for delivery purposes.

    All artworks are printed on limited edition digital prints on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper.

    • Series I is in a numbered, dated and signed edition of 50

    • Series II & III are in a numbered, dated and signed edition of 30 *

    NB * Jo Hardy’s edition is signed in plate

    Arrangements can be made for pick up in Auckland.

    Cost of framing is estimated at $200. Framing includes conservation glass for better protection. The Kauri Project can arrange this, however, if the artwork is to be delivered, additional costs will be advised.
    We will respond with details for payment.