Last year I helped artist Kedron Parker with her Kumototo Stream project and she now has a new work in conjunction with artist Bruce McNaught which also explores our connection with fresh water.
This got me thinking about a project I did way back in 1998. I photographically explored the Kaiwharawhara Stream using artificial lighting in daylight to give the imagery an altered and slightly hyper real look. Heres some of what I wrote at the time:
….I learnt that the head waters of the stream were mined for gold by early settlers of Wellington 140 years ago. Then it was dammed to provide freshwater for the growing city. In another section further downstream, the stream is piped underneath an old rubbish dump for the city. Currently, the upper valley area is being restored to a pre- European state. It is being transformed over time to create a wildlife sanctuary.
What became clear to me whilst I was working on this project, was that the effects of man, for better or worse, are evidenced along the entire length of the stream. Whether we dictate its direction for practical and commercial reasons, or cultivate it’s beauty for our pleasure, the stream has had to contend with constant human interference…..