Located in Faraday Street, Sarah Kolver’s tail is inspired by Matariki—a star cluster which appears in the night sky during mid-winter.
According to Maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar) the appearance of Matariki brings the old lunar year to a close. For Māori, Matariki heralds a time of remembrance, joy and peace.
Sarah’s circular design represents a link to the stars as well as the earth and the oceans, heralding a brighter future for our planet in this duality. Sarah believes that art can expose us to unexplored histories, present us with unfamiliar realities, and reflect relationships between ourselves and the world that we have never experienced before. She hopes her painting will bring a little piece of joy to those who see it. Sarah is most proud of her work on the tail as she believes it is “simple but quite impactful. Rather than telling a story through detail, it tells it through contrast and colour. Not something I have done before, so dipping my toe in abstract art was exciting.”
Sarah is a 21-year-old artist based in Auckland. She studied at Elam School of Fine Arts and is passionate about conservation and the outdoors. She loves working with both oil and acrylic paints to paint everything from New Zealand birds and landscapes to surreal portraits. She has a series of work of native plants that she sell in the information centres around the country to raise awareness around native flora for tourists. Sarah’s work has been exhibited in Auckland and Rotorua galleries, been commissioned by New Zealand companies, and has won national youth art competitions and awards. She also has work in homes around the world.
When asked about her traditional methods of working, Sarah said, “I love to work with oil paints, particularly water soluble oils because you get a beautiful rich texture of oils without the messy clean up at the end. I’ve also recently gotten into painting with acrylics and have started up a small business called Blue Puddle Earrings where I hand paint earrings with natural landscapes that are close to people’s hearts. I love to paint everything from surreal portraits to little whimsical landscapes and native birds as well.”
Sarah is inspired by nature and her close connection to it growing up. Her family would always go on various adventures outdoors and she likes to think of her art reflecting her adventures she once took with her family. Celebrating the big and beautiful backyard we have in New Zealand is certainly a source for her designs.
Sarah has described the process of creating her Whales Tail as an amazing experience and a highlight of the campaign will be to see the “community of artists with all these different designs that are going to be connected through the trail. It’s going to be one massive mosaic of artwork.”
Sarah feels incredibly passionate about the fundraising for the Hauraki Gulf with Whales Tales this year. “The protection of the ocean is not only paramount to the creatures that live in it but to us as well. It’s a hugely important part of our eco system and one that has been disregarded in the past. I’m so happy that there are programs like these that are really pushing for a change and protection of the oceans. It’s very important and hopefully it’s not too late for us to make an impact.
Sponsors: Parnell Business Association and Rockport Holdings LP
This sculpture is co-sponsored by the Parnell Business Association and Rockport Holdings LP. Parties associated with Rockport Holdings own the Textile Centre and Future House here in the Parnell warehouse district and have a long history of successfully revitalising heritage and character buildings into contemporary commercial properties. Rockport Holdings is proud to support the Whale Tales initiative celebrating New Zealand, art, and marine conservation protecting and restoring the mauri of our ocean.
WHALE TAIL DAMAGE
Each Whale Tail is a work of art, and deserves to be admired and appreciated as such. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that everyone will treat the Whale Tails with respect. If you come across a damaged Tail, please text the Tail name, location and a brief description of the damage to 022 042 9074.