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The 2020 Tauranga Art Gallery programme kicks off at the end of February and offers visitors the opportunity to celebrate Mana Moana - Mana Tauranga. Visit the Tauranga Art Gallery website for all the information on upcoming exhibition - below are a couple that are not to be missed.

Tewhatewha CharlesParingatai


22 February 2020 - 23 August 2020


Matatoki: Mata ā Waka is the first exhibition to open Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga’s 2020 programme celebrating Mana Moana – Mana Tauranga.

This exhibition brings together internationally-recognised, contemporary Māori carvers who work under the collective ‘Matatoki’ (meaning ‘the blade of the adze, the cutting edge’). The initial core group came together in the mid 1990’s while involved with Waiariki Institute of Technology and New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua. Subsequently, their carving has been highly sought after by international collectors, much of which has not been seen by local audiences. They first exhibited together at Rotorua Museum in 2013 which then toured to the Dowse Art Museum.

Mata ā Waka features works by 16 carvers from around Aotearoa including Lewis Tamihana Gardiner, Ian-Wayne Reihana Grant, Simon Lardelli, Todd Couper, Fayne Robinson and Iwi Le Comte. Le Comte recently won the 2019 Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Award with his work Te Ipukarea. The theme for Mata ā Waka addresses long traditions of waka carving, te moana (the ocean), voyaging, vessels, navigation and new forms melding these traditions.

Alongside these contemporary works are taonga tūturu (historical objects) from the Tauranga Heritage Collection reflecting traditional artworks that relate to the theme. Included amongst these is a 700-year-old tīheru (bailer), a tauihu (prow), a selection of hoe (paddles), toki (adze blades), punga (anchor-stones) and a waka tīwai (plain dug-out canoe).
The works display the current strength of carving in Aotearoa New Zealand as an artform, while acknowledging the history, utility and warfare of previous generations. With great reverence and mana, Matatoki: Mata ā Waka honours traditions while challenging conventions and re-conceiving traditional forms.
Artists include Dan Couper, Mike Green, Jason Hina, Tracy Keith, Rakei Kingi, Joel Marsters, Charles Paringatai, Thomas Ratima, Hemi Sungren and Kereama Taepa. 


Image: Charles Paringatai, Tewhatewha (detail), 2019

Lianne E


14 March 2020 - 12 July 2020


Artist Lianne Edwards has a background in marine ecology, conservation and resource management. Her artworks comment on our relationship with, and how we treat and value, the natural world articulating human influences on the “Beauty and chaos, transience and permanence” of nature.  

For the past five years Edwards (of Tongan/European ancestry) has focussed her endeavours on the marine environment highlighting some of the key environmental issues facing the Pacific Ocean and region.  Her first public gallery exhibition features a selection of works melding art, science and repurposed, discarded materials sourced from our coastlines and seas.

Resembling the microscopically delicate, or commanding a strong physical presence as in the Wayfinding series of Sentinels and Sea Kraits, environmental messages and important themes are addressed in the artists’ concern for our oceans, our native plants and animals “and the future that we will be leaving for generations to come.”  

Edwards has collaborated with organisations such as the Sea Cleaners initiative, and also with wildlife scientists to draw attention to our marine environment and with our critically endangered native bird (in particular wandering albatross) populations. Her work is found in the collections of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Chartwell Collection, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wallace Arts Trust and many private and public collections.


Image: Lianne Edwards, The Plankton Series III (detail), 2017

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