Art takes on mining off P¯atea’s coast
Luther Ashford, 22, wanted to create a local level response to the Trans-Tasman Resources application to mine iron sand off the coast of Pa¯ tea.
Grand Theft Iron is her response, a visual art exhibition that is on display at Gallery Pa¯ tea on Egmont St until Sunday.
Ashford, who was born and bred in Pa¯ tea, has created three works that start a conversation rather than start a protest.
‘‘I guess when I said response everyone thought of a radical, stick-it-to-them. But it’s more a bringing it home and trying to bring attention to the beauty, to the life of it as opposed to the negative aspects to it,’’ she said.
Once finding out the seabed mining application had been approved, the visual arts masters student thought she could create something that would make a difference.
‘‘There’s been so many protests and petitions and things done and I just feel like it’s good for as long as it’s happening.
‘‘Once the hype has died down then that’s it, the conversation stops.’’
The exhibition contains two television screens the show recorded digital images with locations, setting shots, finer details of the beach. Ashford said this represented the life of the beautiful Pa¯ tea coast.
She also created a hologram that represents the potential death of the coast that is to come it is an iron skull.
Ashford used her opening night to explain the meaning behind her works, and broke down details people didn’t understand about the effects iron sand mining would have on Pa¯ tea.
‘‘The whole kaupapa of that was about all the resources they’re mining,’’ she said. ‘‘These are the facts that are printed out and accessible to the public but it’s presented in a format that confuses the general population.’’
She also had prints for people to take home. ‘‘Everyone is going to ask what do the patterns mean and once you start talking about that it generates the conversation about the issue.’’
The name Grand Theft Iron comes from the popular video game Grand Theft Auto.
‘‘The whole point of that game is pretty much just mass destruction at the cost of whatever to get the pretty penny at the end,’’ Ashford said. ‘‘It was meant to be a prompt for the younger ones to come in.
‘‘It also works on another level.’’
Luther Ashford, created a local level response to the seabed mining proposal it’s called Grand Theft Iron.