Meet the Kiwi Artist Behind Our New Designs for The Forest & Bird Guest AmenitiesPublished on 14/02/2017 | By HealthPak
For the past five years HealthPak has worked alongside Forest & Bird in order to help spread the message that Kiwis need to work harder to help save our special environment and the creatures that live here.
Having created millions of Forest & Bird-branded guest amenity products to go into thousands of tourist accommodation rooms, we thought it was time for a refreshing new design to help spread the Forest & Bird message – and that’s why we immediately thought to call up artist Hayley King, aka Flox, to ask if we could use her beautiful bird images as part of the relaunch.
Hayley’s designs were a no-brainer for us as they help tell perfectly a story of traditional New Zealand values, a connection to the land, and to the birdlife for which our country is renowned. We also felt that one of her prints of the now-extinct huia would be a striking and poignant way to push Forest & Bird’s message that it’s not enough to simply pay lip-service to conservation and the environment, it’s vital to act if we’re to prevent the loss of what so many of us hold dear.
Right from the start of the project we wanted to champion the artwork by putting it front and centre on the full range of guest amenities, so it’s pretty obvious what we thought of the potential marriage of Flox and Forest & Bird – but we thought we’d ask Flox herself why she was willing to come on board.
How do you decide whether to allow your art to be involved in commmecial projects?
It is something I have done a fair amount over the years but I think Forest & Bird are a bit different. I hold them quite dear to my heart and, as Kiwis, we have that love affair with birds so I think theirs is a really great cause. And in terms of the products, I travel a lot and I use those bits and bobs you find in hotel rooms so I know that it’s always those little aspects and finer details that you judge you stay on. And so I really wanted to be involved in that whole collaboration with HealthPak and Forest & Bird and hopefully work towards enhancing people’s stays in New Zealand.
Tell us a little about the choice to use your Huia image.
Funnily enough, that was my first ever print. When HealthPak approached me it was less about go and design us something, instead they had their heads set on this image. It had never been used before and the only place you can get it was as a limited edition of silk screens, so I was only happy to pass over the usage rights. We did a bit of a mock up and the delicate nature of the black and white seemed to work really well with their packaging so we went forward from there.
What is it about the huia that you think is so striking?
This is the land of birds and I always look at the huia as something that’s so special to what used to be. It’s representative of a time and has many symbolic attributes: Maori used its feathers and beaks for all sorts of ceremonies, but for us contemporary-wise it symbolises that yearning for what we’ve lost. I just wish it was still around. It would be amazing to see and hear their calls in the forest. I think the tui seems to be the closest cousin still here – but just imagining there still being huia around, that would be amazing.
And why do you think the huia was the right design for Forest & Bird’s message?
From the Forest & Bird conservation angle it seemed right as a symbol for the message “let’s avoid endangering anything more”. We don’t want any more birds going extinct and the huia is the strongest image you can get. It wasn’t that long ago, just the early 20th century, that they were still around so it feels just out of reach.
For more information on the new designs of Forest & Bird-branded guest amenities – including how we’ll pay the first 12 months of your membership when you sign up – call us on +64 9 579 6268, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via the website.