Mangroves of the Tamaki estuary 

Mangrove is an important and useful indigenous species in New Zealand. A Super Accumulator that takes heavy metals and other pollutants out of the ecosystem allowing an environment for many species of marine life. We intend to contact scientists involved with the ecology of the mangroves from the university of Auckland to get a deeper understanding of the significance of our results and find an appropriate venue in Auckland to exhibit the work with the intention of increasing awareness about the value of New Zealands mangrove forests, especialy within the urban invironment. Art and science were linked for thousands of years and their alienation from each other was a recent developement which has with the hubble telescope among other inovations begun to reverse. The colours we extract are not manipulated in any way by us for effect or asthetic appeal in their presentation. We assume the role of translator and present the beautiful alongside the ugly with a critical technical approach. We understand that nature has infinitely more to give than we could ever imagine.

 

We apply analogical photographic technique to traditional dye extraction processes and create large colour fields in the form of a grid of photographic prints to examine otherwise undefined information from the plant world. We have immersed ourselves in a new way of looking at the world of plants and our relationship with it. In the four years we have worked together we have made over 400 colour extracts and found that no two are the same. In September 2018 we took samples from bark and leaves of Magrove plants in the Tamaki estuary from diverse locations to see if the natural dyes we extracted from the samples showed differences that could be indicative of levels of pollution. The Tamaki estuary is a unique ecosystem ranging from heay industrial, residential to natural environments. The initial results are exciting and we want to return to the location from our base in Amsterdam , the Netherlands to further investigate the 35 locations sampled in the initial phase as to pH level, age and also the colour response from the " snorkels" of the plants, which we initially overlooked. We also want to make  large format analogical photographs to relate to the colour grids which we will produce from the natural dyes extrcted from the samples. We use traditional techniques to extract dye from plant material , and transfer this to photographic film which we can print as analogical colour photographs presented in a grid. This project will be finally exhibited as one to three grids of 35 images , 36 x 45 cm in a 7 x 5 relationship.

Mangrove Residues; leaves and bark

© arja hop / peter svenson 2013