Marguerite Formation


On November 14th at a 12.02 pm a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Kaikoura leaving hundreds of tourists and residents stranded without water, food and shelter. The humility shown by the local and wider community was inspirational. Without hesitation the Takahanga Marae opened it’s arms to those most in need, inspiring a wave of response form the greater community.

Wellington screen printer Tom Lynch of Artisan Screen Prints has a longstanding friendship and working relationship with local Kaikoura artist Matt Moriarty. Together they have produced a limited edition screen print for Kaikoura to fundraise for the Takahanga Marae Charitable Trust. They aim to raise upwards of $5,000 for the charity.


Limited Edition of 65 prints, $150 each available from ASP's online store

Marguerite Formation
Screen Print on Colourplan Paper
620 x 440mm
Matt Moriarty, 2016

Printed by Tom Lynch - Artisan Screenprints
Written Fragments by Charles Hadfield

Art studio the morning of the Kaikoura Earthquake 14th November 2016

Art studio the morning of the Kaikoura Earthquake
14th November 2016

Artists statement

This work has been produced in recognition of the community response to the 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura Earthquake on 14th November 2016.

In nature Sperm Whales adopt a complex social response known as the Marguerite Formation, surrounding a vulnerable pod member to protect it from danger. This natural phenomenon forms the compositional structure for the artwork. 

Composed electronically, processed through a series of regressions and printed on a flat bed, the work is a receptor surface for fragments of studio residue such as sketches, painted samples, works in progress, backing sheets, paint spills and surface damage found and documented during the clean-up of the artists studio the day after the earthquake.

Embedded in the work are written fragments form Auckland based Poet Charles Hadfield’s sequence titled ‘Burnings’. Hadfield has also collaborated with Moriarty on artwork in the past. 

These particular fragments from Hadfield’s ‘Burnings’ resonated, says Moriarty, as they read to me as a kind of aspirational mantra for a damaged community, the need ‘to look the other way too’, but also in that they relate directly to viewing.

The collaborative nature of the work is important, says Moriarty, as it relates directly to the pod like response effort of the local and wider community for Kaikoura.