Toi Tū, Toi Ora

Emare Karaka’s Marae Lanscape in Art Gallery foyer: Tamaki Makaurau and surrounds

We’ve been back to the Toi Tū, Toi Ora exhibition in the  Auckland Art Gallery a couple of times now, and our appreciation of the diversity and significance of the Maori art works has deepened. 

There are paintings, of course, and sculptures, models, kinetic features, flags, jewellery, computer images and all manner of visual objects, films, designs, and creations of many other kinds. The Curator, Nigel Borell, has drawn together an amazing collection of works in style, media and meaning, and , with the staff of the gallery, presented the works in an outstanding and significant way.

(We are very sad to hear that Nigel has subsequently left his position at the gallery as a result of being exhausted by embedded racist structures  and leadership there.  We honour his decision, and hope the gallery leadership will make big changes to deal with their institutional racism.)

Emare (a former AGGS student) and Charmaine (a later AGGS principal)

We were privileged to attend the talk by Emare Karaka, one of the artists commissioned by the Gallery to create the three large-scale works in the foyer.  She is currently the Colin McCahon Artist in Residence.  Now in her 70s, Emare has spent her life journey battling racism every step of the way.  She often expressed her rage in her earlier paintings; her recent ones are more discursive and documentary.   



Here’s a selection of Just a few images in the exhibition which stood out particularly for us: 

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”74″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Pics 1 and 2, are from “Nga Morehu” by Shona Rapira-Davies (a work which took 15 years to create).  

The Auckland Art Gallery Facebook page will give you a glimpse of many more works…

…but if you can possibly manage it, visit this exhibition at least twice before it closes on Sunday 9 May.  Entry is free.

There is also an exciting  supplementary outdoor exhibition by four contemporary artists at Britomart, at the foot of Queen Street and streets to the east.


  1. Adrienne Tunnicliffe says

    Hi there lots to read, you’ve been busy. Would you send me the photo of you two at the tea estate, it’s lovely.

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