Archives For Art

Posters of the past

 —  10/04/2012

By Siobhan File

As part of the DOC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, I asked around to see what posters DOC staff had tucked away from yester-years. Check them out and vote for your favourite…

Knowledge on these posters is limited, so if you have any information about these, or any gems of your own hidden away, I’d love to hear from you!


Care for your country – 1973

This is by the famous Wellington cartoonist Nevile Lodge who must have been specially commissioned to do this poster.

Care for your country

Conservation is all year – 1976

This is a favourite for many. It was designed by Howard Campbell and was the winning entry in a competition sponsored by Todd Group and WWF.


Save us a place to live – 1979

This lovely poster was created by Don Binney, produced for the National Conservation Week Campaign Committee, with assistance from the L.D Nathan Group of Companies.


Nature’s place in town – 1981

And we move into the eighties… A Conservation New Zealand poster; simple, and to the point.


Reflect your concern. Plant a tree – 1981

It’s Conservation Week, but this guy doesn’t look too happy about it. Nice inclusion of Arbor Day messaging though.


The alpine world

This poster was developed at Mount Cook in the mid 1980s in conjunction with the publication of an A4 book The Alpine World of Mount Cook National Park.

A similar poster was printed for Tongariro National Park, but the concept didn’t get used for a wider national message.

Len Cobb from Cobb/Horwood, who did many of the National Park A5 handbooks, did the production.


Tread gently on the ice

This poster was produced by DOC staff member Harry Keys when he worked at the Commission for the Environment (CFE) in the mid 80s. CFE had become part of the government’s delegation at meetings of the Antarctic Treaty parties which, at the time, were dominated by the question of how to assess proposals for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and development in the Antarctic region. It was widely displayed in post offices throughout New Zealand.

Tread gently on the ice


People need plants

It’s true. A lovely landscape produced by the Post Office Savings Bank for Conservation New Zealand.


Shelter from the storm

The wild and uncompromising nature of New Zealand has given rise to a unique diversity of shelters and huts scattered throughout our back country. This collection of images was put together by the Federated Mountain Club, supported by the Hillary Commission.

Shelter from the storm


New Zealand’s Forest Parks

Something for everyone! Contact your nearest Forest Services office for a wide range of experiences and recreational activities.


Community forests and woodlands

Produced in 1985 for International Year of the Forest.


Conservation Week 2009

This poster was designed by Saatchi & Saatchi – a snapshot of the future!


Conservation Week 2009

Get involved in conservation and who knows… a clever campaign that conjures a whole heap of ‘what if’ thoughts.

Conservation Week 2009 – 2


What’s your favourite?

So, what is your favourite poster? Vote in our poll (below). Any memories around these? If you have info to add about any of these posters, comment below and we’ll add it to the descriptions. If you have copies of your own posters that you’d like to share, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

The history of Conservation Week posters

In the early seventies, Conservation Week came under the umbrella of the Nature Conservation Council, with other agencies and organisations represented on a Conservation Week committee. Each year, with sponsorship, it produced a promotional poster and a themed teaching poster with teachers’ notes.

The Wild Things exhibition kick started Conservation Week in Rotorua with a display of the works of Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis. The work was the results from their Wild Creations residency.

Wild Things exhibition

Wild Creations is the Department of Conservation’s Artists in Residence Programme, run in partnership with Creative New Zealand. Each year Wild Creations gives three New Zealand artists the chance to spend six weeks in natural or historical sites to experience the people, stories and challenges of the site, and draw inspiration from their surroundings to use in their work.

Mt Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

Sculptor and writer duo Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis came to the Rotorua Lakes region, with the idea of creating objects for an exhibition using ceramics and other materials from the area. Stationed at Lake Tarawera, the artists had unfettered access to the beauty and splendor of the mountain and lake vistas.

“This work being kind of souvenirs-of-our-time in this weird and romantic region: real and imagined landscapes, the past and present, the mythical and magical, solid and fleeting… volcanoes, rock, mud, dense weed, clouds, ash, mist, reflections,” explains artist Madeleine Child.

Mount Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

New materials made their way into the works: fishing line, paint on mylar, polystyrene, and plaster. Working drawings and marquettes were created, with some ideas exported back to Dunedin, where further ceramic pieces have been created for the show. In keeping with the environmental theme, the works also use throwaway materials: coffee cup lids, polystyrene, and old CDs.

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

“Wild Creations allows DOC the opportunity to support artists to explore the natural environment, to develop new work and connect a (potentially) new audience with some of our special places via with their art (and the stories it tells).

“Often these stories are told in a totally different method and medium than the traditional forms of interpretation, inspiring others to take an interest or rekindle ones passion,” says DOC’s Robert Griffiths.

The ‘Wild Things’ exhibtion will run from the 9th – 30th September at the Rotorua Arts Village.

In a first for DOC, we are currently holding an exhibition in the foyer of Conservation House: Surplus & Creativity. This is an exhibition of design/art installation, recycle-wear, different ways of using familiar items, and all including a healthy dose of kiwi ingenuity.

Surplus & Creativity. All photos by Sam O'Leary.

Everything in the exhibition has been re-created by University staff, Masters students from the Institute of Design for Industry and Environment at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, and Industry associates from AFFECT, the Centre for Affective Design Research at Massey University  The thing that sets this exhibition apart from others, is that everything is made from surplus materials – Everything here has effectively been recycled.

There is a range of works on show, from hot-water-bottle/watering cans to a computer/chicken coop, to a beanbag-bench made from a sack and a saw-horse. The students brief was to: Recontextualise surplus or discarded objects and things to produce a new vision of use, understanding or comment.

The exhibition is a snug fit at Conservation House. The building here has many recycled aspects to it, from the black floor tiles on the staircase (recycled tractor tyres), to the green partitions which separate our level 4 conference room and cafe (recycled milk bottles). As Rodney Adank (one of the organisers) put it, “Conservation House is a great place for this exhibition, this building itself has recently been recontextualised with the new and the old, and this is obviously reflected in the works on show here, it seems like corporate design is all about ‘designing landfill’ these days and we want to show, that it doesn’t need to be like that”

The foyer at Conservation House, viewed from the 4th floor landing.

Staff at National Office have been seeing Surplus & Creativity every day at work, and here’s what they and the organisers have had to say about it:

“It’s a wonderful use of public space, and I hope we follow it up with further exhibitions. It would be a real plus if it inspires us to exercise our own creativity on the first, second and third floors!” Al Morrison – Director General, DOC

“Design and the Readymade is a great strategy for engaging new ideas and concepts, because it forces the viewer to re-think what they had previously understood to be an interruption of an object or product. It makes us reconsider our interruptions.” Rodney Adank, Acting Director at AFFECT

“This is brilliant!. It’s a space that is generally empty-ish, and good for DOC to be attracting visitors and lifting staff  in an innovative way yet linked to conservation/sustainability . I assume it is supporting the art community as well. Make it regular!!” – Allan Ross – Manager, Ecosystem and Species Unit, DOC

“Could we put a sandwich board on the pavement advertising this and other exhibits? It seems to me that it would be a wonderful opportunity to increase walk-ins..” Louise Hoather – Social Science Advisor, DOC

Conservation House is located on Manners Street in Wellington, across the road from Subway and the ASB Bank (map below the gallery). Come on in and take a gander if you’re in the locale, it might spark some ideas!

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