The Art of Survival Collection
The edition of 55 handmade woodblock prints were produced by Wellington-based artist Sheyne Tuffery. They feature Maui’s dolphin and a tuatara – another New Zealand species to have faced extinction and now considered a national treasure. (3)
“The 55 prints represent the alarmingly small Maui’s dolphin population. As there are more MPs than adult Maui’s dolphins we aren’t able to give a print to every politician,” says Greenpeace New Zealand Oceans Campaigner Karli Thomas.
Greenpeace invited representatives of all the political parties including Prime Minister John Key and 41 National MPs to today’s art presentation. Only 4 MPs attended the formal event. The remaining 51 prints were delivered by Greenpeace and the artist to the Beehive.
Thomas says the symbolism of the artworks will depend on the Government’s response to the Maui’s dolphin crisis.
“If MPs take urgent action to protect Maui’s dolphin they will be able hang these beautiful prints in their offices with pride. It will be the art of survival. On the other hand, if they’re too slow or if the measures they agree are too weak, they’ll have a constant reminder of their failure.”
Two international expert bodies, the International Whaling Commission and theInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature, have called on New Zealand to take immediate action to protect the critically endangered species.
“The Government’s response has been shamefully inadequate. New Zealand is running a very real risk of becoming the first country to oversee the extinction of a marine dolphin from human causes,” says Thomas.
“That would be a huge blow to New Zealand’s strong record for wildlife conservation, and to our international reputation.”