Explosive island visit for resident artists

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ina Johann and Victoria Edwards capture some images on White Island that they will use for their art. Photos Troy Baker

WHITE Island’s boiling landscapes have provided ample inspiration to two Christchurch creatives who took up the Whakatane Museum’s first artists’ residency.

Edwards + Johann (Victoria Edwards and Ina Johann) embarked on a day-long journey to explore the offshore volcano as part of their Volcanic Artist Residency.

The artists, who have returned to Christchurch, also have an exhibition, From The Edge of Spaces, on at Te Koputu, Whakatane’s library and exhibition centre, that is inspired by their experiences in the Eastern Bay.

The museum said it was testing out a theory that creative people and volcanoes go together and, thanks to White Island Tours, sent the duo on a day-long journey to Whakaari.

“There they gathered new images, ideas, and inspiration, and generated material for an ongoing Whakatane installation now on view in the museum’s front window at Te Koputu.”
Joining them was intrepid Whakatane photographer Troy Baker, who documented their journey across boiling landscapes and entirely new worlds.

“We think that profound and unexpected artistic inspiration can come from deep connections to geothermal activity, otherworldly landscapes, and subterranean mysteries.

“To prove it we’re building a partnership with White Island Tours, Whakatane District Council, Arts Whakatane, local businesses, and a few other collaborators.

“If we get it right, Whakatane will have a unique new creative development platform – a programme to host artists and cultural managers from all over New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific.

“Expected to launch later this year, the Volcanic Artist Residency is being designed to provide housing, studio or work space, excursions, new connections with local creative people – and a day-long journey to explore New Zealand’s only active offshore volcano.”