Artists Talk: Ngā Manu o Aotearoa

Artists Talk: Ngā Manu o Aotearoa

Birds of Aotearoa

When the 2020 Rotorua Christmas Tree goes up in Te Manawa for 1 December, you will see if offers a uniquely Kiwi twist on traditional festive decorations.

Learn more about this design, the materials and processes behind its creation from artists, Imogen Zino and Zoe McBride. They will be hosting a free talk at Rotorua Library on Tuesday 1 December at 4.30pm.

Entitled Ngā Manu o Aotearoa the design celebrates New Zealand’s native birds showcasing piwakawaka (fantail), miromiro (tomtit), tui, takahē, kiwi, pūkeko, kereru (wood pigeon), kea and kārearea  (New Zealand Falcon).

Accompanying the flock will be a beautiful soundscape playing individual bird songs and a combined dawn chorus.

Artists, Imogen Zino and Zoe McBride, created the vision, which sees bird silhouettes, drawn by local artist Matangireia Yates-Francis, fly around the tree. Made from incandescent fabric, the surface of the birds respond to light and rain, transforming the look from day to night.

“Birds of Aotearoa is a concept Zoe and I were very excited to be able to bring to life. It celebrates native birds and in particular one of Aotearoa’s most spectacular birds, the kārearea. At night time we invite you to shine a light on the tree, revealing the soft glow of the birds”, explains Imogen Zino.

The concept was unanimously chosen by a panel of six judges following a call to artists in July 2020.  Artists were asked to submit proposals to ‘create a fresh new look for the city Christmas Tree, with a truly New Zealand/Kiwiana theme’.