Ground Level, Temporary Exhibitions
10 Jun 16 – 11 Sep 16
This ngatu (painted tapa) exhibition consists of three monumental bark cloth wall hangings created by contemporary artists, Robin White and Ruha Fifita in collaboration with the women of Haveluloto, Tonga. The exhibition takes its name from one of the exhibits, Siu i Moana 2011, which speaks of the things that bind Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This body of work also traces patterns of migration in relation to fish species and humanity. We are the small axe 2013 portrays links between Pacific cultures and marine wildlife and stresses the need to create marine reserves for ocean conservation. The spectacular series of work, Ko e Hala Hangatonu: The Straight Path 2013–16 connects different people and their traditions through its central rationale of a hala (pathway). Tongan motifs that convey the idea of a path, such as the pathway of pines, are assembled within a vertical and horizontal grid. Within this Tongan framework, White and Fifita have introduced new ideas drawn from historical and contemporary sources that range from the Pacific to Western Europe and the Middle East.