Art Galleries, New Zealand

Tauranga Art Gallery

Wanting a breath of fresh air and a stroll, I quickly change into more appropriate clothing, jeans with jacket, boots and head out the door before the weather changes once again. With no planned direction whatsoever, I turn left.

After a block or two, I decide to visit a favourite haunt, the local Art Gallery. To be honest, there isn’t much else happening here at the moment. The city is going through some significant changes, businesses are leaving in droves, and the homeless are claiming the shop entrances as their own. Who can blame them on a wet winters day? Homelessness is still hard for me to digest when it is happening in Aotearoa. I got used to it in other countries just not here. Admittedly, I thought, we have a welfare state to support those in need. Obviously, life here has become decidedly harsher than I remember.

I digress.

Up I climb the stairs to view the new art exhibitions.

cartoon artwork

Firstly, I bypassed Ahsin Ahsin’s “Neon Utopia” as it was a work in progress, I will return at a later stage to view it.

A celebration of Matariki

Matariki is the Maori name for the star cluster also known as the Pleiades. In the last few days of May or first days of June each year, we can observe Matariki rise in the north-eastern horizon just before dawn. The first new moon following the rise of Matariki is the first day of the Maori New Year.

Matariki is a particular time in the Maori calendar with a focus on festivity, and an excellent opportunity to learn about the many facets of Te Ao Māori.

Hā – meaning Breathe

Ha exhibition

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner is a multi-award-winning pounamu artist who is attracted to working with Jade for its solidity, beauty and ancestral connection.

“It is not one’s designation in life to replicate what has gone since, but rather to capture the essence of what has been before in order to expand on what is to become, this is the essence of hā. Tihei Mauri Ora.”

Mātiro – Loving Gaze

Art Gallery

Black and White Photography.jpg

This exhibition is the first survey of black and white photography by Tauranga-based Kapua Joy Bennett. For more than three decades, Kapua was a prolific photographer capturing thousands of images from quiet domestic moments, portraits, street scenes, protests and Māori communities.

Blood Water Earth

pottery.jpg

This exhibition is an immersive video installation and ceramic display arising out of an Indigenous international collaboration between Kahyen’kehaka artist Santee Smith [Artistic Director of Kaha: wi Dance Theatre, which focuses on the reawakening of the sacred feminine and incorporates imagery from both Aotearoa and Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, Canada.

The work activates sacred alignments from cosmos to the womb, its symbolic ritual renewal, and a conscious stripping away of colonial impacts on Indigenous women.

It was powerful to watch. To see for yourself head over to my Instagram HERE. To view the Gallery via a video TAURANGA ART GALLERY

35 thoughts on “Tauranga Art Gallery”

    1. Oh well, Lisa, there are the Papamoa Hills with grand views of the sprawling suburban Papamoa and the ocean for you boring ones 🙃 Though you could do both 😊

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  1. I love the idea of going to a museum or gallery on my own so I can enjoy everything at my own pace (I don’t get much opportunity to do this, I just love the idea 🙃). That jade piece is exquisite… I have just the place (although probably not the bank account) for it.

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    1. It is fun heading out by yourself and as you say Janis we can do it at our own pace. I enjoy my own company just as much as others 🙂 Yes, the jade piece is eye catching and would be a conversation piece in your home.

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  2. An interesting gallery, I particularly like the statue with the Jade head, Hā. I love galleries, been a long time since I went to one. I’ve actually noticed more and more homeless over here in the UK, it’s an awful situation.

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    1. Perhaps it is the growing division between those that have and those that do not. The breakdown of communities and the wider family unit? Even 5 years ago I can’t remember seeing so many homeless in the Bay of Plenty.

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        1. Good point, perhaps it is because we are getting older. Though most people who didn’t fit into a square box created by society were hidden away in institutions or extended family dealt with it if family could not.

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      1. It wasn’t the fault of the excellent videographer. I could tell that there was a lot happening at the same time and I think that’s a failing of the piece of art itself, unless the intention was to overwhelm and confuse the audience.

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        1. You’re too kind April 😊 Yes, you have a valid point as it was getting to the point of being overwhelming as well as intriguing. I don’t know enough about the intricacies of art to make a call on whether its goal of highlighting the reawakening of the sacred feminine was achieved. All very modern and full of mystic 🙃

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  3. I really enjoyed the art gallery with you Suz, and your photos of the amazing art are superb. It’s a shame to hear of the downturn in business but it seems to be happening in many places lately! I really enjoyed the definition of Ha. Sharing for #mlstl

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    1. Cheers Deb. Tauranga as a whole is booming though the city centre is being redeveloped and will be interesting to see what happens and which businesses return. Lots of dining and cafes to enjoy.

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    1. Good question Jo. NZ’s cost of living. Maybe the usual issues of a lack of support and money for mental health and addiction services. Perhaps we are just catching up to the rest of the world and their issues. All in all a complex issue. Tauranga city is having a facelift with new construction and old buildings being pulled down. Apartment living is becoming more in demand.

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