Encounters: Artists in the Kermadecs
In May 2011, artists from the South Pacific embarked on a journey to the seas around the Kermadec Islands (map). For six days, they followed in the path of explorers before them, from the earliest Polynesian voyagers to modern-day conservationists, to experience this extraordinary place, where globally significant marine life co-exists with underwater volcanoes and the deepest ocean trench in the Southern Hemisphere. Their voyage of discovery resulted in the creation of striking works of art, which now inspire us.
View their spectacular art and photos from the trip:
Watch three of the artists (Fiona Hall, Greg O'Brien and Robin White) discuss how the Kermadec islands influenced their art:
Throughout the early 20th century, most nations recognized the need to establish great national parks. Currently, more than 10 percent of our terrestrial landscape has been set aside and safeguarded in parks, refuges and sanctuaries. Our relationship with the sea has been vastly different so that today, less than half of one percent of the world's oceans, including the seas around the Kermadecs, is highly protected.
This can change, now that we have begun the process of creating ocean-scale marine reserves. Global Ocean Legacy, a project of the Pew Environment Group, was established in 2006 to focus on creating great parks in the seas to help safeguard the Earth's marine environment. We achieve this in collaboration with local residents, governments and scientists around the world. Since Global Ocean Legacy's founding, our partnerships have doubled the amount of ocean habitat worldwide that is protected comprehensively.
If designated, a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary could become the newest, largest and most spectacular of a new generation of global marine parks.