Jo Ogier‘s work focuses on the natural world around her and reflects strong conservational and ecological ties. After graduating from the Otago Polytechnic School of Art, Jo undertook study in plant and wildlife illustration.


She has received numerous scholarships and awards in New Zealand and Australia and was the inaugural Southland William Hodges Fellow resident artist in 2000. Jo's work is held in many public and private collections throughout the country.

Dusky Sound/Tamatea, 2015–16
Mixed media
800 x 1,575 mm, framed
$10,000 (SOLD)

This artwork is comprised of sketches carried out in the field from Pigeon, Indian and Resolution Islands, from on board the DOC boat Southern Winds and back home in my studio in Christchurch. Specimens were collected by DOC staff for me to draw from what they came across during their stoat trapping excursions each day. I have used mapping as a referencing tool to link the landscape sketches and drawings of the flora and fauna, whilst also referencing the rich and diverse history of Dusky Sound. For me the mosaic like forest floor and ancient and unspoilt feel of the forest on these islands was inspiring to see and spiritual to experience.

Kākāpō – Strigops habroptilus, 2016
Watercolour, coloured pencil and gold leaf
835 x 770 mm, framed

Kākāpō are nocturnal and the most endangered parrot in the world, listed internationally as “Critically Endangered”. There are only approximately 157 (August 2016) left in the world and approximately one third of them now live in the Dusky Sound area. It is hard to believe anyone would have been able to predict their demise in the stars from that first contact with man. In this work I have developed a set of star signs just for the kākāpō, referencing the contributors that have pushed these beautiful birds to the brink of extinction.

The only real predator to the kākāpō before the arrival of humans would have been the Hast Eagle. Along with the arrival of Maori and later explorers and settlers, who also navigated the oceans by stars, came rats, mice, dogs, stoats, ferrets, possums, cats and guns. The Victorian obsession with collecting also fuelled the need to fill the cabinets of curiosity all over the world with all things exotic like the kākāpō. The likes of the flightless and beautifully patterned camouflage feathers would have also provided a rewarding sum for the finder, not to mention providing a fulfilling meal to the hunter.

Kākā – Nestor meridionalis, 2016
Watercolour and coloured pencil
835 x 770 mm, framed

These gorgeous and gregarious parrots are listed as “Nationally Vulnerable”. Whilst on Resolution Island I often heard them flying over with their raucous call and fooling around in the tree tops. Their main threat in Dusky Sound area is from predators such as stoats, rats and possums who prey on their chicks and eggs. This is not helped by the fact they like to nest in hollow trees which gives them no form of escape. Competition for food is also an issue with the likes of possums on the mainland, who compete for the high energy food of the endemic mistletoe and rata. Competition from wasps and bees for the honeydew excreted by scale insects on beech trees is also an issue. The botanical images in the background of the work are of the specimens drawn and collected when I was in Dusky Sound.

Kea – Nestor notabilis, 2016
Watercolour, coloured pencil and silver leaf
835 x 770 mm, framed

Predator control is key in protecting these inquisitive and incredibly intelligent alpine parrots. Now listed as “Nationally Endangered”, time is running out. Island sanctuaries such as Resolution Island in Dusky Sound/ Tamatea, are playing a key role of saving these amazing parrots for future generations.

In the background of this artwork I have used a copy of the map used by the stoat trappers on Resolution Island. The silver marks represent the location of the traps checked and reset on the extensive network of trap lines. There are approximately 2600 traps on Resolution Island alone and another 880 in the Dusky Sound area.

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