Kermadec Exhibition to Open This Week at Navy Museum

26 November 2013
Hands to Bathe poster of exhibition at Navy Museum, opening 30 Nov 2013
Hands to Bathe poster of exhibition at Navy Museum, opening 30 Nov 2013

A group of artists who voyaged with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ship HMNZS OTAGO to the Kermadec region two and a half years ago are bringing works inspired by the experience to the Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay, Devonport.

The new exhibition— Hands to Bathe—Imagining a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary—opens this Friday, 29 November, and runs until March 2014.

The artists—Gregory O’Brien, Bruce Foster, Robin White, John Reynolds, Phil Dadson, John Pule, Jason O’Hara, Elizabeth Thomson and Fiona Hall—were invited to travel on OTAGO’s Kermadecs mission by the Pew Charitable Trust, so they could document the extraordinary sights and wildlife of the remote Kermadec region. Located between New Zealand and Tonga, the area is home to whales, turtles, seabirds, fish and deep-sea marine life.

The exhibition title was inspired by a naval tradition of stopping a ship in a warm part of the ocean and declaring: “Hands to bathe!” Ship’s Company then dive into the water for a refreshing swim. OTAGO stopped at the Tropic of Capricorn for the purpose.

“For the voyaging artists it came as a huge surprise and offered a few moments of exhilarating engagement with the immense, life-giving, all-encompassing ocean,” recalls artist Greg O’Brien, curator of Hands to Bathe.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition the Navy Museum will host an open day from 11am – 3pm on Saturday 30 November where the public can view the exhibition, meet the artists and discuss their experiences.

There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the Navy’s role in protecting the ocean and its resources and to tour the Navy Museum, all free of charge.


For more information, or if any media wish to arrange a viewing prior to Friday please contact Maryanne Twentyman from Defence Communications Group on 021 441 523

This page was last reviewed on 5 December 2013.