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Mokoia Island - Through the Seasons


Mon 23 Apr 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm
Tue 24 Apr 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm
Wed 25 Apr 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm
Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm
Fri 27 Apr 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm

Where: The Arts Village, 1240 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Mokoia Island through local lenses.

For 25 photographers, 2011 was the year they were sent to Mokoia Island with the simple assignment: “find the beauty”. This year Rotorua residents and visitors will get the opportunity - at two local shows - to see what they found.

On exhibit will be 12 photographs – one for each month – chosen out of the more than 500 submitted.

“Mokoia Island – Through the Seasons” will open at Rotorua Arts Village (RAVE) Wednesday, 4th April, and run through May. In June the photographs will be exhibited in the café art space of Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, for a six-week show.

Photographers include local and visiting students, hobbyists and professionals. According to organiser Heather Vail, it made magic moments for many. “Everyone loved the opportunity to visit Mokoia, rain or shine, and you can see through the images the spirit of the place, a true gift”, Vail said.

Vail and a group of local photo enthusiasts gained initial support for the project through Mokoia Island Wai Ora Experiences, the boat and tour service which takes passengers daily to Mokoia Island, which is located in the middle of Lake Rotorua, five kilometres from the lakefront.

“In 2010 we’d gone over to the island on a ‘locals only’ special, and were so inspired by the trees, birds and dappled lighting, we wished we could be left alone to roam and shoot. So we asked Mokoia Island Experiences if they could transport designated photographers to the island each month to help put in place a photo exhibit for 2012 that would essentially promote the island. They agreed and soon photographers were lining up to take part in this win-win-win opportunity”, Vail said.

Owned by local hapu of Te Arawa who have entrusted a private Trust to manage and promote Mokoia Island, it remains a restricted area. The Trust runs tours but also works alongside the Department of Conservation (DOC) to preserve native species.

2011 presented fickle weather - dry to start, then rainy for much of the year, which meant photographers with delicate equipment frequently needed to take a “rain check”.

The project’s steering committee includes Naumai Taurua, who appreciates the talent – and the hard task of picking through the images. “The photos presented are absolutely gorgeous, and it will be a hard decision, especially as everyone probably has a different view of the seasons, the month or what should represent Mokoia”, Taurua said.

A main outcome of the show is to give artists reason to develop their skills, as well as share and value the Island’s beauty. This notion is supported by Rotorua Civic Arts Trust (RCAT), which has provided funds for the exhibit.

“We…look forward to the contribution (the project) will make to the artistic wealth of the community”, RCAT Secretary Amiara Savea noted.

In addition to the 12 images exhibited at the shows, a compendium of the photos will include photographs from each participating photographer, in a 2013 calendar, to give “fair representation”, Vail said.

Proceeds will go to support keeping Mokoia Island a sanctuary for native flora and fauna.

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