Tāmaki Innovation Campus


by Charlotte Fisher

Sculpture named Fathom, by artist Charlotte Fisher.
Mirror finish marine grade stainless steel.

Charlotte Fisher was born in Whangarei in 1959 and brought up in Northland. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, 1981, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1989 at Elam School of Art, University of Auckland. Charlotte currently lives and works as a practising sculptor in Auckland. (Signs & Markers, Whangarei Art Museum)

The title ‘Fathom’ has meanings associated with enquiry and answers, water depth measurement, and from the Old English term, ‘faethm’ meaning to encircle with outstretched arms. The work alludes to the sea, in terms of the shore that this site was once part of, through the imagery of the marine fossils, and yet it is also symbolic of the human body in terms of its raised limbs and movement. The spikes in the upper portion of the work also relate to the architectural detail on the roofline of the Performing Arts school.

This sculpture contains imagery of ancient marine fossils and graptolites found in New Zealand. It explores the connections however distant they may be between ourselves and life forms long extinct. "Floaters in the primordial seas, graptolites are extinct relatives of hemichordates - and thus distantly related to chordates, including ourselves." (Fossils: The Evolution and Extinction of Species, Niles Eldredge, page 186)