Water Slows as it Rounds the Bend is part of an ongoing investigation into the fragile ecology and transformation of the Hauraki Plains. The groundwater of the present day Plains is tightly controlled; few clues remain of the great fertile wetland, yet concealed in the centre of the gridded farmland lays Kopuatai Peat Dome. Acting as a sponge, the Peat Dome protects low-lying farmland from flooding, but in recent years it hasn’t soaked up the excess rain. Traversing the wetland by foot and kayak, van der Drift captures scenes once full of giant Kahikatea that have since been crowded out by Willow.
Van der Drift would like to acknowledge the tangata whenua of Hauraki especially Ngāti Hako, whose land this work is set in and whose stories are referenced. As well as tau iwi - the farmers, hunters and environmentalists whose relationships to the land are referred to and pictured.
Water Slows as it Rounds the Bend is part of the 2018 Auckland Festival of Photography CORE programme.
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