• Chervelle Athena

A Fragile Ecosystem is a photographic tribute to Aotearoa’s kauri, focusing on how photography can strengthen human connections with the indigenous flora of Aotearoa. This project asks how photographs can be used to establish a deeper reflective connection between humans and plants, thereby promoting a more caring and responsible relationship with Aotearoa’s endangered whenua; especially when considering the threat of Phytophthora agathidicida, kauri dieback disease.

With kauri dieback disease slowly destroying kauri in Te Ika a Māui, a rāhui was placed in December 2017 on the Waitākere Ranges by iwi Te Kawerau a Maki. A Fragile Ecosystem recognises kauri are taonga and explores the impact kauri have on Aotearoa culture. Through utilising large-scale photographs of our native bush, this exhibition also aims to raise awareness in the community about kauri dieback disease, the fragility of kauri, and their ecosystem.

This project invites viewers to profoundly feel the concerns of our endangered whenua. This is informed by the fact that we must care about these trees, we must care about Papatūānuku, or in thirty years it has been estimated that kauri will be extinct in the Waitākere Ranges.

Chervelle Athena is a lens-based visual artist from Waitākere, Tāmaki Makaurau, who has a Master of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology and won The Wallace Arts Trust Award for Outstanding Achievement in Postgraduate Studies, 2018.

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday - Friday 10am - 3pm, Saturday - Sunday 8am - 5pm


  • 72 Hillsborough Road
  • Auckland 1345