In Earthpushers, a project developed for the 2017 Headlands Sculpture on the Gulf, engaged with the history of earth excavation on Waiheke Island and its transportation to Auckland. Between the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, tonnes of sand, shingle and gravel were extracted from Waiheke’s foreshore and land. This earth was originally used to construct a significant amount of Auckland’s early urban infrastructure such as the Grafton Bridge built in 1910.
During the exhibition and over the duration of seven days, the artist invited the public to help transport earth over water from one place to another, in this case from Auckland to Waiheke. The gesture of this action can be seen as a return of earth to the island as well as a time to reflect our own relationship and history with this natural material.