Whale Tales: Our Hands is selected as Onehunga town centre’s design


A new sculpture trail is coming to Auckland.

Following the success of 2018’s The Big Hoot, WWF – New Zealand, Wild in Art and ATEED are bringing Whale Tales to Auckland in 2021.  70 individually designed whale tails will be shared around Auckland for 10 weeks for a journey of discovery.

Onehunga Business Association will be hosting a whale tail in the town centre and to enhance it is unique Onehunga appeal we have held an artist search and by public vote have selected a winner: Our Hands by Isaac Trebilco.

Artist Statement:

The handprints will be from a diverse range of people representing the community; business owners, musicians, artists, students, etc. The road map of Onehunga offers a direct connection to the local community, with the green representing the fertility of the land. The blue represents the sea water of Manukau Harbour. The interweaving patterns are stream-of-consciousness designs, influenced by traditional tā moko. The red represents the eruption of Maungakiekie that formed the whenua. This design is a snapshot of present-day Onehunga, while showing a strong connection to its history and the diversity of its people.

About the Artist:

In 2009 Isaac gained a degree in Graphic Design majoring in photography from Auckland University of Technology. From 2013 – 2015 he lived in Warburton an Aboriginal community in central Australia. Whilst here he worked at the Wilurrara Youth Art Centre. During this time Isaac developed his art practice. From 2016 until 2018 he lived and worked in London, where he became involved in gallery management and artwork development. In April 2017 Isaac had his first solo exhibition, Whanaungatanga, at Shotgun Studios in London. Since 2019 Isaac has been working on a series of portraits depicting mana whenua from Ihumātao.

For more information about Isaac please visit his website: https://cargocollective.com/itrebilco.



Onehunga artist search timelines

9 April 2020
Onehunga artist search opens

11 May 2020
Onehunga artist search closes

11 May 2020
Online public voting for the Onehunga tail design commences

31 May 2020
Onehunga public voting closes

1 June 2020
General applications for Whale Tales closes

2 June 2020
Onehunga winner is announced

Mid-July 2020
WWF-New Zealand artist contract is confirmed

1 November 2020
Onehunga Whale Tail is completed by winning artist

February – April 2021
Tail is on display in Onehunga town centre

June 2021
Auction for tail


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