This is the digital component of the project Te Ika-a-Akoranga (2014) by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith - restoring, digitising and rebuilding the rediscovered mural Te Ika-a-Māui, by E. Mervyn Taylor (1961).
This mural was unearthed after research was conducted in to the history of the Southern Cross Cable, New Zealand’s primary internet connection to the world – carrying approximately 98% of international internet traffic.
Taylor created Te Ika-a-Māui to mark the completion of the Tasman leg of the Commonwealth Pacific Cable (COMPAC) – a telephony cable that linked Commonwealth countries and paved the way for the Southern Cross Cable. The COMPAC landing station sits next door to the Southern Cross Cable station and is housed within the same high-security complex.
Each tile in the mural has been cleaned and photographed, the digital file edited, and reproduction tiles printed in duplicate. Initially, two physical photographic versions of the mural have been constructed: one at the JWT offices in Auckland and a second parallel work in Holloway-Smith’s Wellington studio. A digital version of the mural has also been rebuilt online, right here.
Click a tile to see a larger version. The mural may be navigated around by using your arrow keys: left, right, up and down. To exit, hit “Esc” or click the image.
Now that the tile cleaning phase has concluded it has been discovered that sixteen tiles are missing from the original mural. Their given coordinates are: F8, G6, H6, H7, J5, J6, J9, J16, K6, K8, K12, M4, T2, T6, T7, and T9. Any information on the whereabouts of these tiles is most welcome. In the event that these tiles remain missing, plans to create replacement replica tiles will be considered.
The mural’s future
The future of the physical mural is also currently uncertain. If you have thoughts on an appropriate future site for the work please feel free to share them with us.
Big thanks also to the wealth of individuals that have helped with various components of this project including: Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram, Harry Silver, Kerry Males, Cleve Cameron, Kirsten Brown, Renee Sheridan, Sarah Taylor, Shaun Waugh, Mike McGrath, Conor Roberts, Matthew Holloway, Rachel O’Neill, Kerry Ann Lee, Murray Smith, Jocelyn Smith, Vaughan Smith, Rowan Smith, Christine Steele, Ros Cameron, Johanna Sanders, Kylie Sutcliffe, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Susy Frankel, Mike Heynes, Ben Plumbly, Art + Object, Sally Morgan, Martin Patrick, Heather Galbraith, and Rebecca Sinclair.
The above tile images have been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit as: Te Ika-a-Māui by E. Mervyn Taylor as Te Ika-a-Akoranga by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, linking back to this page where possible.
- Lost art work rediscovered: Justin Gregory discusses the project with Bronwyn Holloway-Smith for Radio NZ National’s Standing Room Only programme
- Navigating the Tangled Web of Copyright (Te Ika-a-Akoranga) | Critical Forum presentation and panel discussion with Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Prof. Susy Frankel, Sophie Jerram and Megan Tamati-Quennell (embedded below).
- Te Ika-a-Akoranga: a story about the Southern Cross Cable and a mural (photographic timeline of key events contributing to Te Ika project, via Letting Space)
- New cultural narratives for New Zealand’s southern cross cable Part 1: Te-Ika-a-Akoranga: a presentation by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith at the National Digital Forum, Te Papa Tongarewa, November 2014 (also embedded below)