The Outdoor Art Trail at Waimangu Volcanic Valley is now open! The art trail is free with admission to the geothermal valley. Eleven works of art, ranging from textiles to photography, have been digitally printed onto large panels to form an interactive art trail. The artwork will be digitally printed on vinyl to withstand weather and geothermal conditions.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley general manager David Blackmore said manuhiri could already explore the valley and its history through the guides, app and information boards, but the art trail will share Waimangu's story in a new way.
"The art selected for the trail is both creative and engaging and it's been interesting to see how each artist has interpreted the various aspects of Waimangu, including its history, flora and fauna and geothermal landscape.
"This is a great opportunity for manuhiri to experience something a little bit different in their own backyard.
"We're proud of our heritage and wish to commemorate our special place with this outdoor art trail for manuhiri from across Aotearoa and the world (eventually) to enjoy."
Kurien (Koshy) Yohannan from Black Stallion Photography has two pieces on the art trail, depicting native birds in the volcanic valley.
Yohannan said people wouldn't normally associate birdlife with a geothermal area like Waimangu, but there was a surprisingly diverse range of birds that call Waimangu home, thanks to the conservation efforts undertaken by its kaitiaki.
"Some of the species found there are extremely rare, like the Australasian bittern and royal spoonbill, and I hope my photography will inspire visitors to look out for and enjoy the birdlife as they wander through the geothermal valley."
Image: Tomtit by Kurien (Koshy) Yohannan
Textile artist, Julia Cass-Janes, also has two works of art on the trail and is hoping the installation ignites a sense of excitement in visitors as to what the next art piece down the line will be.
"To enjoy art in nature is also pretty cool and I hope people go 'wow!' when they pass each artist's work as it will all be unique in its own way."
People’s Choice Award
There is a $1,500 cash prize awarded to the artist of the People’s Choice award at the end of the exhibition in March. You’ll find a voting form on the Art Trail Guide. Choose your favourite artwork and hand in your form when you return to the Waimangu Visitor Centre.