What: Silent auction to help the kākāpō at Sanctuary Mountain
When: Thursday June 9, 6pm
Where: Sir Don Rowlands Centre, 601 Maungatautari Road, Karapiro, Cambridge
Tickets: $160, online here, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An original drawing by James Ormsby, Elizabeth Thomson's cast bronze cabbage tree moth, Hollie Tawhiao's mixed acrylic on wood and a limited-edition print by London-based photographer Casey Moore are among works donated by 30 renowned New Zealand artists - all to help a rare native bird.
The nature and conservation inspired pieces are part of a live and silent auction that aims to support Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari's mission to create a safe place to translocate the critically endangered kākāpō.
Works include a mixture of artistic mediums including photography, paintings, illustrations, ceramics, sculpture and a contemporary tukutuku - a traditional Māori art form.
The pieces that have been donated are exceptional with many of the artists having represented New Zealand nationally and internationally, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari chief executive Phil Lyons says.
Hamilton-based artist and curator of Ramp Gallery, Hollie Tawhiao's donated piece King of the Mountain is laden with symbolism and meaning.
"I considered every aspect of the design to reinforce the precarious situation for kākāpō survival today," Tawhiao says.
The work depicts a star in the centre with 18 points, a reference to when at their lowest only 18 kākāpō had been found.
"The maunga silhouettes are of Maungatautari, Whenua Hou, Te Hautoru o Toi and Anchor Island. The latter three are the current predator-free sanctuaries for kākāpō with Maungatautari joining as the potential fourth."
Tawhiao's work aptly depicts the perilous situation, showing that without help, the kākāpō would most likely be extinct within our lifetime.
Lyons says, "By purchasing a piece of art from our auction you can take home a piece from a renowned New Zealand artist and also support real, on-the-ground conservation."
Beyond the 2022 breeding season, there are very few, if any, safe sites with sufficient breeding habitat to expand the kākāpō population.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari offers the only safe mainland habitat to do this.
The plan is to transfer up to 10 kākāpō to Sanctuary Mountain in the final quarter of 2022. Along with Te Papa Atawhai-Department of Conservation's kākāpō recovery team and mana whenua Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Sanctuary Mountain is working closely with Ngāi Tahu to achieve the vision of restoring the mauri of the kākāpō.
The live auction pieces will be auctioned at an event supported by BiteLAB – a Montana Catering kitchen, Vidcom, Waipa District Council and Mighty River Domain on June 9 and feature the artworks on display.
The auction items are available to view and bidding is open. To show your support and bid on the auction, visit galabid.com/kakapo