We're proud to join Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki's monumental celebration of contemporary Māori art by hosting a satellite show of one huge new permanent work and three temporary new installation works by four Māori artists.
On Saturday 5 December, the Toi Tū Toi Ora exhibition of contemporary Māori art opens at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki, and also at Britomart. The exhibition is the most significant survey of contemporary Māori art ever, bringing together over 300 works produced by 110 Māori artists, from the 1950s to today – all free to the public, and running until Sunday 9 May 2021.
At Britomart, we're passionate believers in the power of public art to transform our understanding of familiar landscapes and cultural interaction. We're privileged to host these new artworks from four wonderful Māori artists – Shane Cotton (Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Hine, Te Uri Taniwha), Lonnie Hutchinson (Kai Tahu, Ngāti Kuri ki Kai Tahu, Samoan), Charlotte Graham (Pare Waikato, Pare Hauraki) and Lyonel Grant in collaboration with Tim Gruchy.
Shane Cotton's permanent five-storey artwork Maunga has been installed on the westward wall of the Excelsior Building on Commerce St. It's a rendering of 25 pot motifs, each of which represents a maunga (place or mountain) in New Zealand. Read all about it here. At the Auckland Art Gallery, he's also created an artwork featuring a different kind of vessel – a boat – with the intention that both works carry ideas back and forth.
Charlotte Graham's temporary work, which you can read about in detail here, is a series of flags designed to bring the healing energies of Tangaroa (god of the sea) Tāwhiri-mātea (god of the winds) through Britomart’s nine blocks. It's the second major piece of work Charlotte has created for Britomart, with her water-droplet work Te Waiora delighting visitors to the precinct two Christmases ago.
Over by where The Hotel Britomart meets The Pavilions, Lonnie Hutchinson's work references the Ngāi Tahu creation story, which features not only Papatūānuku, the earth, and Takaroa, the progenitor of the oceans, but a third protagonist, Rakinui. Aroha ki te Ora (Lover of Life) is comprised of two sets of three panels, with one panel representing each of the three characters in the creation story. Britomart's Jeremy Hansen talks to her about it here.
And the final piece we're hosting is Lyonel Grant and Tim Gruchy's collaborative work SCOUT: Wawata Hōnonu. SCOUT is the towering digital artwork that oversees Takutai Square, created by Tim in 2012. This year, Lyonel, a classically-trained carver whose work branches far beyond that origin, worked with Tim to teach SCOUT to use its artificial intelligence to dream about and respond to Māori culture. Learn about how they made that happen here
Toi Tū Toi Ora Satellite is the first event of Auckland Unlimited's Summernova festival series, designed to wrap around Auckland's hosting of the 36th America's Cup and bring the entire region to life from December to March. Learn more at Summernova.co.nz