Ramon Robertson at the Estuary Art and Ecology Award 2022

July 8, 2022

Congratulations to Ramon Robertson who was awarded a Merit for his work titled Opaque at the recent Uxbridge Estuary Art and Ecology Award 2022, the only contemporary art award in Aotearoa New Zealand with ecology at its core. Artists were invited to research and respond to the Tāmaki estuary – to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway, and to encourage action against its pollution.

Along one of the tributaries adding waters to the Tamaki Estuary, I stumbled upon this scene, right place at the right time, almost like a crime scene. The image was taken during an evening walk along Botany Creek which leads to Pakuranga Creek and eventually into the Tamaki Estuary. Pakuranga Creek, and others leading into the Estuary are some of the worst polluted waters in Tamaki Makaurau. This photograph displays an awkward yet compelling pull between human progression, wildlife and environment. It impacted me significantly. There was a guilty pleasure in finding this environmental moment, a moment of horror, of ugly beauty and of a curious co-existence between humans, wildlife and environment: a co-existence that drives the purpose of this exhibition. The white substance pouring from a drain into the creek was from a nearby building site and under cover of night, the opaque water created long luminescent white arteries, cloud-like in their forms, in which swam two eels, eerily preoccupied in their own investigation.
– Ramon Robertson, 2022