Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki presents landmark exhibition of contemporary Māori art in major showcase opening Saturday 5 December.

E whakaatu ana a Toi o Tāmaki i tēnei whakaaturanga rongomaiwhiti o ngā toi Māori o nāianei ki tētahi whakakitenga nui ka tuwhera ā te Rāhoroi 5 o Hakihea.

In the largest exhibition ever presented by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art offers insights into the development of Māori art from the 1950s to the present day. The first major exhibition of its kind in nearly 20 years, Toi Tū Toi Ora is informed by a Māori worldview, and will include more than 300 artworks, exploring cultural histories, Māori knowledge, identity and place.

Spanning 70 years with work by 111 artists, Toi Tū Toi Ora presents both an aspiration and a challenge to realise a future in which contemporary Māori art continues to stand tall – toi tū – and healthy – toi ora – while reinforcing the wisdom and ideas that empower Māori and Indigenous ways of knowing.

Showcasing iconic artworks by some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant artists – Ralph Hotere, Lonnie Hutchinson, Robyn Kahukiwa, Mere Harrison Lodge, Merata Mita, Buck Nin, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekowhai, James Ormsby, Lisa Reihana, Rachael Rakena, Peter Robinson, Wi Taepa, Cliff Whiting, Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Pauline Yearbury, and more – Toi Tū Toi Ora will include painting, sculpture, printmaking, clay-making, jewellery and body adornment, photography, digital media, film and installation art.

Nigel Borell (Pirirākau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whakatōhea), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Curator, Māori Art, says: ‘Toi Tū Toi Ora is organised around the Māori creation narrative as a way to enter into a conversation about the importance of Māori art and artists, and to explore what unites these artists across space and time.’

As visitors explore the exhibition, they will literally step into the creation story, beginning with Te Kore (the great nothingness) before traveling through to Te Po (the darkness), then the separation of Ranginui and Papatūāknuku before entering Te Ao Mārama (the world of light and life).

The exhibition’s development has been supported by Haerewa, the Māori advisory group to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Chair of Haerewa, Elizabeth Ellis (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou), says: ‘An exhibition survey of this scale has been a long time coming in Aotearoa New Zealand and it fulfils our aspirations for the Gallery. Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art brings visibility to contemporary Māori art for Māori communities and all to celebrate and embrace.’

See the full media release and more information here.

Image below 

Fiona Pardington Davis Kea Wings, 2015.
Courtesy of the Artist and Starkwhite, Auckland.

This is a spirited and celebratory exhibition that sees the Gallery dedicated to showcasing a distinct and important art movement, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and a global context. This is a free exhibition for everyone to enjoy and we hope visitors will leave full of heart.

Kirsten Lacy, Director Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki