Okarito – A small south Westland settlement situated on beautiful Okarito Lagoon.
A cluster of baches and homes link the road neighboured by the powerful ever present sea and the dence lush bush, crouching under the majestic Southern Alps.
Early Maori gathered kai from the lagoon and established pa sites here. The 1860s brought change with the gold rush. Okarito acted as the main port town for surrounding gold diggings. With no roads yet established the lagoon acted as port for provisions and men. On a single day in March 1866 over 500 people landed by steamer at the Okarito Lagoon.
As gold became scarce flax and timber milling provided industry, but surrounding gold settlements disappeared into the rainforest and gradually signs of man disappeared.
Okarito survives well to tell its story of a rich and vibrant history, its beauty astounding visitors day by day as locals enjoy their paradise and isolation
Holidays spent at Okarito and the Forks with family and friends have inspired this series of works. The power of the landscape and the tranquility of the time spent here are held dear.
A whalers traditional pass time aboard the ships of scrimshaw initiated this jewelry making. I see an innate beauty with these sometime naive sailors drawings scratched into whale bone. I love the affinity that the process shares with etching and have woven historical narratives into the imagery. Landscapes, stories of my family and of past significant events in Okarito have been etched into whalebone, copper and silver in these brooches.