From Crack of Dawn to Croak of Dusk: The Solar Plexus records

Maungawhau crater

Maungawhau crater, c.1977, photograph, item 1/16, MSS & Archives FA 2012/1, Solar Plexus records, Fine Arts Library Special Collections, The University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

To celebrate International Archives Day (9 June), a selection of material from a newly processed archival collection will be on display at the Fine Arts Library from 6-23 June. The Solar Plexus records document the collaborative drumming event which took place between 1970 and the late-1980s, held in the crater of Maungawhau (Mount Eden). Performances incorporated sound, movement and sculptural installations and involved a changing rotation of participants.

Solar Plexus performance

Untitled photograph of Solar Plexus performance, undated, photograph, item 2/3, MSS & Archives FA 2012/1, Solar Plexus records, Fine Arts Library Special Collections, The University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

The event was initiated by Elam alumnus Phil Dadson, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Intermedia Department at Elam from 1986 to 2000. Designed to celebrate the natural waves in the air and earth’s pulse the event took place annually from dawn till dusk on the Winter Solstice. This year’s Winter Solstice falls on 21 June, marking the shortest period of daylight for the year.

Between 1982 and 1985 Solar Plexus was involved in the International Radio Solstice Celebration organised by The Wilderness Foundation (New York). Through satellite connections live performances in Auckland were broadcast to an international audience alongside performers from ten countries.

The collection contains photographs including prints by Gil Hanly, ephemera promoting the event, administrative material and correspondence. A Finding Aid with further details of the collection is now available on the Catalogue.

Untitled photograph by Gil Hanly

Untitled photograph by Gil Hanly, 1983, photograph, item 2/4, MSS & Archives FA 2012/1, Solar Plexus records, Fine Arts Library Special Collections, The University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Selina Foote, Fine Arts Library

One Comment

  • Avalogo Togi Tunupopo commented on 16/06/2017 Reply

    Fabulous website Alumni Auckland
    Well done

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