Some­thing fishy is around town

Rotorua Weekender - - News -

The Ro­torua com­mu­nity may have no­ticed some­thing fishy around town while ex­plor­ing and run­ning er­rands in the city.

Thir­teen uniquely dec­o­rated fish, cre­ated by lo­cal artists, are lo­cated in var­i­ous shops and out­lets in a trail around the CBD.

The Fish Out of Wa­ter Art Trail is an an­nual sum­mer art event which Ro­torua Lakes Coun­cil ini­ti­ated 14 years ago as a cre­ative way for lo­cal artists and the com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate Ro­torua’s lakes and fish­eries.

Co-or­di­nated by lo­cal artist Jill Walker, the trail fea­tures 13 fi­bre­glass fish which are trans­formed each year by Ro­torua artists.

The fish are then re­leased into the in­ner city streets, where they are hosted by lo­cal busi­nesses for six weeks over the fes­tive sum­mer sea­son.

From fairy tales to trea­sure chests, plas­tic bags to space odysseys, this year’s va­ri­ety blew Jill away.

She says a num­ber of the fish this year are re­flect­ing con­cerns about the en­vi­ron­ment.

Jill says a range of medi­ums have been used, in­clud­ing beau­ti­fully painted fish and in­spir­ing use of pa­pier-mache.

She says it has been great to see more youth get in­volved and dec­o­rate the fish this year.

“The va­ri­ety and quite a few of the fish be­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment is won­der­ful be­cause this is about cel­e­brat­ing Ro­torua’s fish­eries and our beau­ti­ful lakes and en­vi­ron­ment.”

Jill says the trail is also an op­por­tu­nity to see other art­work through­out town, like mu­rals.

Mil­lie Kissling-hemsworth, 16, and Crys­tal Yeo­man, 16, are tak­ing part in the trail for the first time this year.

Mil­lie says their fish is called ‘2048’ be­cause that is the es­ti­mated year for seafood to run out at the cur­rent hu­man con­sump­tion rate.

The fish is cov­ered with wa­ter, which is about to cover the fishes head, to sym­bol­ise the rapid loss of sea life, she says. It is also cov­ered in cherry blos­soms.

She is look­ing for­ward to peo­ple see­ing their art and has en­joyed meet­ing new peo­ple through the trail. She en­cour­ages peo­ple to check out the trail be­cause there are a lot of cool fish on show.

Sky Smale has taken part in the trail be­fore, and this year has dec­o­rated her fish with a fo­cus on some of the na­tive flora and fauna in our wa­ter­ways.

“I have a long-stand­ing in­ter­est in con­ser­va­tion and am aware that there’s a lot that I still don’t know, so it was a great op­por­tu­nity to learn a lot my­self and share that with oth­ers.”

Her 7-year-old son is art fo­cused, so it was an op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate to him that art can be part of the com­mu­nity.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing the trail with him.”

Free trail maps are avail­able from the Ro­torua isite on Fen­ton St or from any of the host venues.

Those who find all 13 fish can en­ter the draw for a prize. Peo­ple can also vote for their favourite fish in the Peo­ple’s Choice Award, with the win­ning artist also re­ceiv­ing a prize.

For the first time, a smaller rogue fish named Cap­tain Peggy Wet­beard will be vis­it­ing dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions over the sum­mer. Hints to the next lo­ca­tion will be given so peo­ple can see who can find the Cap­tain first.

This year’s Fish Out of Wa­ter Art Trail will be in place un­til Fe­bru­ary 3 2019.

Photo / Sup­plied

A num­ber of the 2018 Fish Out of Wa­ter artists and fish.

Photo / Natascha Hartzuiker

Mil­lie Kissling-hemsworth, 16, and Crys­tal Yeo­man’s, 16, fish ‘2048’.

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