New exhibition explores elements of design, space and tradition

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New exhibition explores elements of design, space and tradition

Explore elements of design, space and tradition in Taranaki-based artist Wharehoka Smith’s latest exhibition, Nekenekehia Tukua, now on at NPDC’s Puke Ariki Museum.

Featuring new and old works from the artist, museum manager Colleen Mullin describes the exhibition as “a step towards a more collaborative venture that recognises Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) kaupapa in an institutional setting”.

 “Besides that, the work is amazing, challenging, beautiful and original, and there is something here for everyone, including tools to create your own art work using the rich language of Māori design principles.”

Along with the exhibition, there are a range of supporting activities including talks that invite the community to discuss art, design and space with a Toi Māori influence. Toi Māori is a term used to refer to traditional Māori art that has been influenced by tradition, knowledge, mastery and expertise past down for generations. 

The title of the exhibition is a joyful command: Nekenekehia (move!) and an exclamation: Tukua (send it out!). 

Puke Ariki sees thousands of visitors through their Temporary Gallery each year, with the most recent exhibition ‘Map It’ reaching 25,000 visitors.

 “We have seen regional travellers who are a lot of first time visitors to Puke Ariki from outside the region for holidays and festivals i.e Garden festival and festival of lights have been big draw cards, visitors usually dovetail their visit along with those destination events and visit Puke Ariki,” says Puke Ariki Visitor Experiences lead Ella Santos.

Nekenekehia Tukua is on at the Puke Ariki’s Temporary Gallery until 20 November. Free entry.

Exhibition details on the Puke Ariki museum website

Fast facts

  • Puke Ariki  is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre
  • It has three long-term galleries
  • In 2020/2021 there were 756,000 visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries.