Three days before closing of the exhibition all our little Full Moon Kingdom artists came to visit and meet with poet Glenn Colquhoun, Christine Tintinger from the Zoo and myself. It was such joy to have you guys and show you how your incredibly imaginative and brilliant work has been showcased alongside the main exhibition. Thousands of people came through and saw your work and so many commented on how beautiful it is. WELL DONE guys – incredible! You can be so proud of yourself and it was an honor and fun to have you with us. Thanks so much to the wonderful teachers who organized all of this and made this possible for you and us.
Thank you to Kylie McBeth and her kids from Westmere primary school
Janette Williams and Jerremy Williams and their students from St Dominics school, Blockhouse Bay
Deb Nathan and her tamariki from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga school in Whirinaki, Northland
Thanks also to my wonderful friends from Te Kura o Matihetihe in the beautiful Hokianga who came down all that way to see the exhibition and be part of this special get-together.
My aroha to all of you. Your contribution and beautiful artwork is very precious – please keep imagining and creating! I am hoping to keep one or two of your paintings…be assured, they will be framed!
The zoo at night is quiet and still. At dusk the balance between animals and human beings shifts and one is left alone with flamingoes and lions, chimpanzees and seals. The light fades and the animals begin to stare back in a way they do not seem to during the day. It becomes a world of imagination and the make-believe.
Auckland Zoo also has a proud tradition of educating schoolchildren about animals and their environments.
For both of these reasons I wanted to share my project with a small group of schools selected by the zoo. The children were asked to send in a combination of writing and drawing, each piece imagining what happens in the zoo after dark. I was so delighted with the responses that I decided to include them in the exhibition.
It was my way of trying to catch an image of the sense of possibility I find in the zoo when the light fades. I think of them as dream photographs.
In three years of visiting the zoo at night I have yet to see some of the creatures these young people have seen.
Which is not to say at all that they do not exist.