Centres of Wellbeing: Auckland Nature Reserves Through Children’s Eyes

Cover from recent book- George Grove - ponga in Churchill Park
Jessica Olsen- fungi in Churchill Park
Isabel Posada-Hinestroza - Sheetweb spider in Kepa Bush
Kavisha Kanagasooriyam - Pied shag in Tahuna Torea Reserve

St Heliers Library to display book of students’ nature photographs

Centres of Wellbeing: Auckland Nature Reserves Through Children’s Eyes is a book of beautiful, thoughtful and sometimes quirky photographs taken in bush and nature reserves in the eastern suburbs of Auckland. The 178-page book is the seventh to have been produced showing photographs taken during hands-on workshops by the founder of IMAgEN8, Tushar Sharma.

In his introduction, Tushar writes: “Nature reserves in our cities, like the ones in the eastern suburbs of Auckland, are a treasure for the city. If you live in the neighbourhood, you can walk in the bush if you only have an hour to spare. Wellbeing from that hour in the forest brings us and everyone we touch great benefit. These nature reserves are ‘Centres of Wellbeing’ in our beautiful peaceful city.”

Whilst everyone has a camera built into their cellphones these days, Tushar introduces his workshop participants to digital Canon and Nikon single lens reflex cameras. Thanks to the sponsorship of Orākei Local Board, IMAgEN8 was able to organise free workshops for students and print this book. In a foreword to the book, OLB chairman Scott Milne says: “Tushar has devoted hundreds of unpaid hours to give our young people a sense of purpose, a taste and a talent that will serve them a lifetime, and the thrill of being published.”

Nature reserves featured in the book are: Tahuna Torea, Kepa Bush Reserve, St Johns Bush, Churchill Park, Dingle Dell and Kohimarama Forest. The student photographers represent 12 schools and colleges, almost all from the OLB area.

The photographs published here give a taste of the treasures inside. The books will be featured in the Natural Õrākei display at St Heliers Library from Monday, August 21, to Thursday, August 31, to celebrate the library’s re-opening after a year in temporary premises while it was being earthquake-strengthened and refurbished. The display will feature posters, photographs (including some from Centres of Wellbeing), informational leaflets and books, including The Pourewa Valley Story by John and Sue La Roche.

Centres of Wellbeing can be purchased at the St. Heliers Community Centre (100 St Heliers Bay Road) $40 per copy. There will be an opportunity to purchase it at another exhibition held at Meadowbank Community Centre, 29 St Johns Rd, on Sunday, September 10. 

Please visit  www.imagen8.co.nz  to purchase this book and other publications and for additional project information.