Motuihe Island Hieroglyphics


Motuihe Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Aotearoa New Zealand is 600+ islands.

This work was temporarily hand-carved into the 200-million-year-old eroded sands of Motuihe Island, which resides in paradise between mainland Auckland & Waiheke island, inside the Hauraki Gulf.

To create the artwork, I boated to the island, swam ashore with tools and carved hieroglyphs into the eastern shore in low-tide. The artwork iconography attempts to reference the islands dynamic history: people, place, pests and preservation. The incoming tide swallowed the artwork on completion.

Motuihe was firstly inhabited by Maori, who utilised the land to grow taro & gourds. The land was later sold to a European settler who also used the land for horticulture & agriculture. Historically-planted Norfolk Pines remain an iconic part of islands form today. 

With extensive conversation efforts, the island was declared ‘pest-free’ in 2005. The island is now home for many New Zealand natives including spotted kiwi, bellbirds and tuatara. Islands can also help with human pandemics. The island served as a quarantine station firstly in 1872 to fight small pox, then again in 1912 during the flu pandemic.

Part of an ongoing series, this body of work pays homage to the dynamic & ever-changing landscapes of New Zealand, through carving temporary hieroglyphic stories into their surfaces using hand & tool. Shortly after installed, our environment swallows up the markings and return the sites to their natural form. The works are preserved through this photograph print only.

Edition: 1/30
Dimensions unframed: A2 (420 x 594mm)
Dimensions framed: 525 x 725 mm
Stock: 260gsm Luster Photographic Stock
Inks: Ulta-Chrome HD, Colorsure
Authentication: Hand signed, numbered and dated ’21.
Installation size: Aprox 250sqm
Tools to produce: Rake, DJI Mavic Pro with Hasselblad camera.
Shipping: Please allow 7-10 days domestic, 14 days+ international (Covid may effect these timeframes).