The Seaflower Venture in PH Museum today by Martin Toft

My ongoing project, The Seaflower Venture is featured today on PHmuseum. The project emerged from research into the origins of Jersey’s banking history undertaken as part of Masterplan - a parallel project focusing on the story of the island’s finance industry. With Jersey operating as an entreprôt; the island’s merchant trade of global commodities conducted across multiple outposts can be seen as a blueprint for a future offshore financial services industry facilitating international flow of capitol from other jurisdictions. 

Within the context of Brexit and uncertainty of future trade relations I'm working on ambitious plans combining both projects into a multi-media installation in multiple locations in 2022. Entrepôt will explore through the prism of colonial and family history Jersey’s original wealth generated by the proceeds from the North Atlantic fisheries in the 18th and 19th centuries and how its merchant networks in the West Indies, South America and Mediterranean lay the foundation for the island's economic growth and development in the 20th and 21st centuries as an International Finance Centre. #theseaflowerventure #masterplan #entrepot


Te Ahi Kā published in ZEIT Magazin by Martin Toft

Since the end of last year I have been working with ZEITmagazin on an extensive feature about my new book Te Ahi Kā. Published today as a 10 page spread here are a few pages. Many thanks to Milena Carstens, Director of Photography and Tereza Mundilová for an excellent interview asking some critical questions about the nature of my collaboration with Māori, their spiritual world and relationship with photography. 

To learn more you can read ZEITmagazin online here 
Or purchase a copy of the book available here from Dewi Lewis Publishing
For New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific visit Oratia Books.

Unveiling of the Future of St Helier Hoarding #3 by Martin Toft

If you missed the news last night at ITV Channel TV you can catch up here with Hautlieu students talking (15m.12s) about their images on display at the Masterplan Future of St Helier hoarding on the International Finance Centre supported by sponsors Jersey Development Company, Camerons Ltd and MJP Architects.

The outdoor installation on the hoarding around the construction site is a great way to engage the public in art and debates concerning the future of the island's capital but, what we need in Jersey is a new contemporary art space that will provide a new venue to showcase art produced in the island, but equally also bring international art to Jersey for the public enjoyment of its residents and visitors alike.

The recent Culture, Arts and Heritage Strategic Review, commissioned by the Government of Jersey makes 20 new recommendations that will revitalise the island's cultural infrastructure and achieve a wide range of social and economic objectives from tourism, to health and well being to external relations, to planning and environmental developments - in the hope that in partnership with Government it will enrich and enhance Jersey’s quality of life.

Let's hope those in power who can make real changes to St Helier's build environment will include such a new art space in the revised Masterplan of the Waterfront. All we need is political will and re-prioritising public funding for the arts. States of Jersey

Unveiling of the Future of St Helier Hoarding #2 by Martin Toft

Earlier today we unveiled the Masterplan Future of St Helier hoarding display at the International Finance Centre. Lots of local media interest from Jersey Evening PostITV Channel TV and BBC Jersey who broadcasted live on radio talking to photography students at Hautlieu School, Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft and sponsors Jersey Development Company, Camerons Ltd, MJP Architects about the future of the island and its capital. An excellent example of how a community arts and education project can generate a debate that affects all those who either live, work or visit St Helier. If you are interested in the views of young people tune into BBC Radio here (listen from 3:18:30 onwards or watch the six o'clock news tonight on ITV.

Unveiling of the Future of St Helier Hoarding by Martin Toft

Please come along to the unveiling tomorrow at 12:00 noon of the Future of St Helier Hoarding at the International Finance Centre on the Esplanade in St Helier. First published as a 52 page newspaper supplement in September by the Jersey Evening Post the work produced by A-Level Photography students at Hautlieu School have been transformed into a 34m outdoor installation as part of Masterplan Community Arts and Education Project 

Students were challenged with responding to specific areas, streets and neighbourhoods divided up along the urban vingtaines of St Helier and to explore through research, archives and photography the built-environment, urban living, diverse communities, town planning, land use and re-generation projects.

We thank all sponsors and collaborators for making this a successful contribution to the island's cultural records and historic archives Jersey Development Company, Camerons Ltd, MJP ArchitectsArchisleLewis BushPhoto-Archive Societe-Jersiaise, Kevin Pilley, States of Jersey and Connétable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft #futureofsthelier18#masterplan


Blessing of Te ahi Kā in Auckland by Martin Toft

Finally Te Ahi Kā has reached the shores of New Zealand and yesterday the books were blessed in a special Māori ceremony in Auckland. Such an honour and privilege to be part of this special journey that began in 1996 when we returned home to the ancestral homeland of Mangapapapa.

I like to acknowledge all tangata whenua who welcomed me onto their land and taught me about the ancestral ways of their old people, especially Te Whanau O Tieke and Te Whanau O Mangapapapa, Ngā Uri O Tamahaki. My sincere gratitude to the Trustees of Te Wananga O Mangapapapa Trust in their support, especially Anahera whose input has been invaluable and to my elders Hokio Te-Rangi, Tawhero and Tukaiora – tēnā koutou katoa.

A personal thanks to book designer Ania Nałęcka-Milach and Rafał Milachfor their help in shaping this project into a book. Publishers Dewi Lewis and Peter Dowling from Oratia Media for their support and work in distributing the book to a wider audience around the world. Very proud of my step-daughter Indra-Kaye Staunton and partner Callum who travelled from Jersey and spoke on my behalf at the blessing.

Dedicated to the memory of Paiki Johnson. 

‘Always walk with the cautiousness of the Pūkeko at your feet. Express your being with the joy and unpredictableness of the Tīwaiwaka. Speak your truth with the wisdom and stillness like the Ruru. Be strong and direct like the Tūī. Hold on to your higher-self for you are like the Huia. Be observant like the Hokio-ite-Rangi.’

The book is published with financial support from Creative New ZealandNew Zealand Lottery Grants Board and Te Mana O Te Awa Grant administered by Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui

For copies of the book in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific visit Oratia Media here

Anywhere else in the world please visit Dewi Lewis Publishing here…/te-ahi-ka-the-fires-of-occupati…