King of the Mountain 2022
Maungatautari Mountain facility Sanctuary Mountain needed to raise funds in order to upgrade their fences to contain kākāpō. I had worked with the maunga previously on an audio tour for Arataki and relished the opportunity to support. I donated this piece for auction titled The King of the Mountain, laden with symbolism and meaning I considered every aspect of the design to reinforce the precarious situation for kākāpō survival today.
The star in the center has 18 points because at their lowest we only had 18 kākāpō. The maunga silhouettes are of Maungatautari, Whenua Hou, Te Hautoru o Toi and Anchor Is. The latter 3 are the current predator free sanctuaries for kākāpō with Maungatautari joining as the potential fourth. The spiked pattern in the border are the Rimu branches for Rimu berries. Only when they are abundant does the kākāpō breed, this happens every few years and kākāpō are very selective breeders. Furthermore, there are many risks to their offspring.
Exploring presence and absence I differentiated each side of the card with opposing fills, the positive and negative space working in balance to show the future of these creatures as teetering on the metaphoric precipice of extinction. The card face alludes to the concepts of games VS gambling, and naivety and responsibility.