Returning to the East – Ebony Whitaker


Dates: 29/05/20 - 05/07/20

Ebony Whitaker has created a visual feast of the changing beauty in the natural environment, reflecting his own change since returning to the East Coast of New Zealand after a decade away.

Ebony’s journey as an artist started when he was a young grom surfing at Ohope, Whakatane. He started to surf semi-professionally and would travel to find the best surf, this brought him to Tairāwhiti. He has always had a love of the natural environment and he nurtured this when he was at Art school in Far North Queensland, again, chasing warmer waters and waves.

He found that the perfect medium for him was landscape photography, capturing images in nature and developing them in his digital darkroom, to fully represent how he feels in the natural world.

Coming home after a decade in Australia, a very different person now living with a disability, has meant that the work has taken on a more personal and rueful edge.

To create these works Ebony must battle fatigue, body strain and cognitive issues to shoot and edit, but it is all worth it to this artist who lives and breathes the natural world.