Maitai Bay was all but deserted on Monday evening, which perhaps was just what American earthscape artist Andres Amador and his collaborator, film-maker Jonathan Clark, were hoping for.
Andres, who attracted worldwide attention last week with a huge design on the sand at Piapia Beach (Whangaroa), continued his series of Lines Across the Earth at Maitai Bay, all part of the making of a documentary, Capturing Impermanence.
Andres and Jonathan (New Zealand-born but living in San Francisco) are in New Zealand looking for beaches that will serve as Andres' canvas. His first work at Piapia, designed by local ta moko artist Lloyd Morgan, has gone viral on the internet. His work at Maitai was smaller but no less impressive, and much admired by the handful of local people who watched him at work.
The next tide, of course, ensured the work's impermanence.
It was all part of a mission to collaborate with indigenous traditional artists to translate a cultural design into a large-scale artwork using locally-sourced, natural materials.
"The project was conceived several years ago as I contemplated a project for the Free Tibet movement," Andres said.
"I had the realisation that virtually all traditional people have a message that needs to be heard. I saw that my role could be one of facilitating a broadcasting of the message, using my skills at large-scale artwork. The project is ever-evolving to meet the situation as it unfolds in an effort to not impose limitations to what it can be or express."
His experience at Piapia had certainly made an impression on him, and a far from impermanent one at that.
"I really enjoy collaboration when it's possible," he said, "but when I was trying to find artists to collaborate with in New Zealand, no one came forward."
Lloyd Morgan's design had translated easily on to the sand, and he was keen to work with other ta moko artists, but the lack of response from the art community had been disappointing. He was quickly gaining a feel for traditional Maori design, however, and had designed the Maitai Bay image himself.
Ideally the project would include community and school groups, he said, and he was very grateful for the reception he received from the people at Maitai Bay.
The project continued yesterday at Cape Reinga.
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