Posted by Bart Signal on Nov 15, 2018

A Few (Commissioned by Predator Free 2050) is the third installment in an ongoing series of natural history illustrations depicting native and resident species by emerging artist Erin Forsyth.


The Pah Homestead
TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre
72 Hillsborough Rd

When30th October – 9th December
  • Tuesday to Friday, 10am - 3pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8am - 5pm

09 639 2010

A variety of flora and fauna are represented in this collection with special attention given to the butterflies pepe or pūrerehua (Lepidoptera), manu/birds (Avifauna), pekapeka/bats (Chiroptera) and rakau/trees. It is the artist’s intention to continue creating and adding images to this series, which may provide insight to the unique biological (bio) diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Erin Forsyth is an emerging visual artist and illustrator. Forsyth’s practice has focused on exploring the intersection of cultural and bio-diversity often through the use of image production. Her earlier works focused on the production of what she refers to as ‘contemporary archetypal’ or ‘gateway’ images – painterly or illustrative works deliberately familiar with aesthetic reference to various subcultures. This process of image construction is evident in her approach to natural history illustration as demonstrated in A Few and in her previous two exhibitions in this series: New Works, Whitespace Contemporary Art, October 2017 and In Direction – Plants and People, Studio One Toi Tū, July, 2017.

Preliminary studies for the series of pūrerehua/butterflies were drawn by study of the Lepidoptera collection at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira with thanks to John Early, the Curator of Entomology and his team; with special mention to Kelly Hall and thanks to Lisa Varga.

The selection of manu/bird portraits were commissioned by Predator Free NZ Trust in order to develop a ‘Birds of Aotearoa’ poster.

The large pekapeka-tou-roa, long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) were created for Puke Ariki Museum (New Plymouth) and will be reproduced in even larger format for the new East Taranaki Environment Trust Exhibition.

The short documentary on the release of the Kakī, black stilt (Himantopus novaezealandiae) captures the work of the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai in restoring the world’s rarest wading bird to its natural environment. This work was shot by Forsyth and her partner Joshua Solomon in the Mackenzie Basin in July and features a soundtrack by local music legend Roy Irwin.

After admiring Erin Forsyth’s exhibition A Few in the long gallery you can take home one of her Taonga o Aotearoa posters of New Zealand native birds, available for purchase from the Pah Shop – $25 per poster.