Artist: Debbie Fish
Dates: from November 2021 to February 2022
Where: Whairepo Lagoon
Materials: Bamboo, sisal, reclaimed fishing net and aluminium cans.
Whai Repo is a contemporary art installation by Debbie Fish, exhibited above the Whairepo Lagoon in Wellington.
Whai Repo poised, as it dives into the Whairepo Lagoon honours the eagle rays that visit over the summer months, reminding us to respect these beautiful creatures that come to the lagoon to breed. Mana whenua believe the eagle rays are the kaitiaki of the lagoon.
The artwork is made using a fishing net recovered from Kāpiti Island, and spots cut from aluminium cans collected from the nearby waters and surrounding coastal areas, individually threaded onto the bamboo frame to move and reflect the sunlight.
An online audio repository delves further into the whai repo. You can listen to a new myth Whairepo and Toroa by story-teller Moira Wairama with music by Karen Jones, hear from ray and shark scientist Dr Helen Cadwallader and from Ghost Diving NZ founder Rob Wilson, with marine biologist Eddie Howard, about the work they do to protect the habitat of the whai.
Liste to the audio on goldfishcreative.co.nz/whairepo
The artist would like to acknowledge the mana whenua of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui) where this artwork is installed.
About the artist
Debbie Fish is an installation artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her installations are inspired by social and environmental concerns, often using playful ways to examine complex issues. She has exhibited works at festivals around Aotearoa and in 2017 she was an artist in residence as part of the Keelung NMMST (National Museum of Marine Science and Technology) International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan. During the residency, she created an installation School of Scales using bamboo, and recycled materials with the help of local school children. Whai Repo is a development of this practice. In 2022 Debbie will be exhibiting as part of Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke Island.
See more of her work at: