Te Taniwha is an ongoing project, drawing on the mythology, history and ecology of Waikaremoana and its many tributaries and outlets, it traces the search for two great, serpentine water species: the Taniwha and the giant longfin eel.
Joyce Campbell has been working onsite in a field darkroom to produce ambrotypes and daguerreotypes at Te Reinga, home of the Taniwha Hinekörako. Contemporary cameras do not lend themselves to the depiction of mystery. Digital cameras have made photography an increasingly descriptive medium and also one that is open to greater manipulation than ever before. By contrast, the nineteenth century techniques of ambrotype and daguerreotype provide the photographer with extraordinarily detail, depth and richness while also having an innate tendency to produce artifacts from silver and ether that are spontaneous, open to interpretation and often extraordinarily beautiful. Campbell has taken photographs of caves, gullies, pools and cascades but her hope is that in the silver we might catch a glimpse of the Taniwha as well.