Kāwhia, Aotearoa New Zealand / March/April 2020

Eight hundred years ago, the great Tainui waka (canoe) entered Kāwhia Harbour and thus, a spiritual homeland was established. I arrived in Kāwhia in March 2020, as Aotearoa New Zealand was being introduced to a four level COVID-19 alert system – we were currently in Level 2 and, in 48 hours, would shift to Level 4.

For months, I continued work on the series of woodblock prints I started over the 33 days of Level 4 from a town that felt desolate under the (then) current conditions, finding imagery in the evidence of community and humanity. I took photographs of Kāwhia wharf, boat launch, moorings, concrete sea walls, public spaces, neighbourhood features and historical sites. I collected the fine-grained black iron sand from the harbour and iron-rich clays from the beach to create prints that focus on the qualities of raw materials and connection to place and people.

Matuku Moana


Shoreline Swell




33 Days

This is a sample from the project. More about the project can be found here.


Jennifer Halli was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and immigrated to New Zealand in 1998. Through ceramics and printmaking, Jennifer examines place and material while considering religion, loss and time. She has an MFA in Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts|Dartmouth and has been invited to international wood firings and exhibitions in the USA, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. More of her work can be found at: http://www.jenniferhalli.com and on Instagram: @jenniferhalli.

Jennifer currently lives and works in New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand.