Friday 19 October
Toi Te Papa Art Of The Nation - Te Papa’s Flagship Art And Visual Culture Exhibition Opens
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The widow (Harata Rewiri Tarapata, Ngä Puhi), 1903, by Charles Frederick Goldie, oil paint on canvas, Museum of New
Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation, Te Papa’s flagship art exhibition will officially open 25 October 2006 to present the
largest selection Te Papa has ever displayed from its own diverse art collections. Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation will
occupy the whole of Level 5, featuring more than 300 of the nations most significant artworks that present a broad
historical sweep across a thousand years of art in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This long-term exhibition draws on the museum’s collections of historical, modern and contemporary Mäori, New Zealand
and European art, photography, and the applied arts to present a selection of iconic pieces, old favourites, and new
acquisitions. These range from ancient taonga (treasures) through to the most innovative demonstrations of contemporary
Toi Te Papa brings together customary taonga Mäori, the European tradition and the history of New Zealand art as
distinct elements in the art of the nation. It weaves together the artistic and cultural strands – the long traditions
of Mäori and Western visual culture – in order to indicate how the art heritages of Aotearoa New Zealand came to be what
they are today.
Te Papa’s Director of Art and Collection Services, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, said ‘Te Papa’s collections encompass Mäori,
Pacific, European and New Zealand art, as well as the art of other cultures, and the applied and decorative arts. Toi Te
Papa Art of the Nation highlights these collection strengths and showcases some of New Zealand’s most significant art
‘This exhibition is the first step in an ongoing process to make Te Papa’s art collections more accessible. The overall
strategy will include a comprehensive programme of public floortalks and lectures, a publication and a gallery space
dedicated to profiling contemporary artists,’ Mane-Wheoki said.
Toi Te Papa reflects the cultural development and shifting tastes of New Zealanders over time, and recurring themes and
art movements are explored. Iconic works from major artists like Heberley, Goldie, McCahon, Angus, Hotere, Albrecht, and
Cotton will sit alongside lesser-known, but equally appealing treasures.
The exhibition will remain on show for approximately five years, and works in two gallery spaces will be refreshed
regularly to add greater depth and interest to the exhibition and reward repeated visits.
In addition to the gallery, Te Papa features a new art installation, VOID, by Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere, two of New
Zealand’s most enduring and successful collaborators of contemporary art. VOID plays with the concepts of dark and
light, empty and full, positive and negative. This extraordinary artwork in effect creates a dark-and-light-defined
space that fills the ihonui (core) of Te Papa through Levels 2 and 6.
In association with Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation, a major programme of research, lectures, discussions, publishing
projects, and many other stimulating events and activities is planned for the duration of the exhibition. Learning
material for family groups and teachers will also be available to enhance the visitor experience.
Image Above: Hei tiki, 2001, by Rangi Kipa, Corian and päua shell, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation
Opens 25 October 2006,
Level 5, Te Papa.