Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history Poverty Bay - taonga maori
Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery


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Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori



February 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
16:00 Hei Puru Rourou-closes..

17:30 Company of Potters -opens..

02:00 Company of Potters -Floor Talk..

16:00 Follow My Journey -closes..

10:00 My Language of Pattern and Col..

16:00 Kete-Puāwai -Basket of E..


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 Toru Tekau
 Ngā Kaihanga Uku - Māori Clay Artists

  9 December 2017 – 4 March 2018

    Hīkoi - Noelle Jakeman

1987 - thirty years ago, saw the birth of a new movement in world ceramics – the formation of KAIHANGA UKU – Māori Clay Artists. Baye Riddell had begun his career as a potter thirteen years earlier ostensibly the first full time Māori potter. In later years he was joined by others such as Manos Nathan, Colleen Urlich, Paerau Corneal and Wi Taepa. Dubbed The Tight Five or Ngā Tokorima they have since nurtured and been added to by an accomplished new generation of Māori“Muddies”.

At the first hui at Tokomaru Bay in 1987 a three stranded approach was drafted to guide the development of this exciting new entity.

First - we would approach working with clay from a Māori perspective.
Second – we would share our collective knowledge and resources.
Third – we would engage with indigenous cultures with ceramic traditions.

This three stranded plait has served us well as a reference point over the past thirty years and has seen the growth of the collective and the establishment of Māori pottery and ceramic art on the world stage as a ceramic style that is unique to this land.

This exhibition celebrates this growth and our journey to date as the clay whānau – Kaihanga Uku.


 Follow My Journey - Phillipa Knight

  22 December 2017 – 18 February 2018


Yearning to paint with expressive freedom, local artist Phillipa Knight, has found her happy place through the process of intuitive painting.

For this artist, intuitive painting is recording onto canvas whatever enters the mind at any given moment. Beginning with applying a background of random colours from a warm pallet, then adding preconceived shapes, pictures or symbols of significance. Finally, the artist lets her intuition dictate the composition and tonal quality of the painting.

Each intuitive painting can be described as dynamic, evolving until the artist reaches a feeling of resolve. Until that stage, colours, composition, even the symbols depicted may change several times.

Knight’s love of nature inspires her creativity, a multimedia artist her artistic disciplines include jewellery, ceramics, drawing and painting. Self-taught, her drawing skills developed at a very young age and while recovering from a serious health issue ‘creativity’ became a major part of her life.

‘Life is a journey of self-discovery, of learning and growing each day. I express this through my paintings...follow my journey, I hopes it will inspire yours’

 Company of Potters

  17 February 2018 – 15 April 2018

Opening 5.30pm 16 February 2017

Join us at the museum for an exhibition floortalk with Damian Skinner and Ian Smail on Saturday 17 February at 2pm


Curated by Damian Skinner, developed and toured by Objectspace.

Between 1973 and 1984, the three kilns at Ian and Sheryl Smail’s ‘Nodsdale’ property on Auckland’s north shore were used to fire pots by a number of leading New Zealand ceramists. This exhibition explores the creative and social relations that linked these kilns, the pots fired in them, and the makers closely associated with the Smails; Chester Nealie, Liz Schwier, Warren Tippet, Bronwynne Cornish, Len Castle, Denis O’Connor, Nick Waterson, and the Smails themselves.

The first of the three kilns built at ‘Nodsdale’ (the Redvale property named for Sheryl’s nickname, Nod) was in 1974; a baby oil-fired brick kiln of ten cubic feet, with a single cylinder shearing-shed motor that Ian had repurposed. This kiln was in frequent use and used especially for salt glazing. The second kiln, built in 1975 or 1976, was a stoneware kiln, about 30 cubic feet and replete with vacuum cleaner blowers, the construction of which followed the connection of electricity to the property. The third was a wood-fired kiln completed by 1978.

 My Language of Pattern and Colour - Jan Linklater

  23 February 2018 – 8 April2018

   Google Girl

Even as a small child, patterns fascinated me and lodged in my memory. The theory of colour came later when I started to paint seriously but it is only since I emigrated to NZ that the striking landscape and light and a change to acrylic have vigorously combined pattern and colour.

Landscape was my starting point but as a development of my life drawing I have come intrigued by the designs created by body postures, the negative and positive patterns they make on the background, as well as the expressive nature of the pose.

Having painted mainly in watercolours in the UK, sometimes that technique breaks through in the acrylics as a looser freer style.

Initially trained as a zoologist and having farmed in the Welsh hills, another theme I am addressing is modern man’s lack of awareness of other animals and their signals. Adding an underlying message and narrative to my paintings is an area I am starting to develop.

-Jan Linklater

Rosemary Parcell

  3 March 2018 – 29 April 2018

Opening 5.30pm 2 March 2018

Rosemary Parcell was born in Tarras, Central Otago. In 1972 she graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury and began teaching Art and Art History in Dunedin and continued with teaching positions in Melbourne, Gisborne and Auckland.

In 2005 she became a full-time painter. A devotee of horse riding and in particular the discipline of dressage, Parcell has often written for Judges at all levels of Dressage events, and finds that this undoubtedly influences her work.

‘I have collated a comprehensive collection of works from the last 10 years of the Totemic horse. I focus on the essence, the musculature and movement of the athlete rather than the texture or sheen of coat or even pretty head.

The aesthetic qualities, the sheer beauty of the horse, its arabesques and elegance, even smell, should be evoked. The rider is reduced to hand and seat, for if riding well, the rider should be invisible and the horse appear to move of its own volition.’
- Rosemary Parcell

Kete-Puāwai -Basket of Evolution

  21 December 2017 – 25 February 2018

Opening 5.30pm 20 December 2017

    Abby Collier - Tuwhara

Māori weaving is full of symbolism and hidden meanings. Embodied with the spiritual values of Te-whare-pora and our Māori people. The Kete is seen and recognised as a spiritual vessel. It carry’s the knowledge and wisdom of our Ancestors. Tāne-te-wānanga is acknowledged for retrieving three baskets of knowledge for mankind. One kete was called Te-kete-aronui, which is known as the basket of progression. Te-kete-aronui contained the knowledge of raranga as well as all things pertaining to the arts.

Puāwai refers to the evolution of Te-whare-pora from the past and to its continuing growth in the present. This exhibition therefore pays tribute to the weavers of the past and to the weavers of the present that continue to revolutionise the Knowledge of Te-whare-pora.

A connection of Te-whare-pora from the past and Te-whare-pora of the present. The kairaranga are a selection of students from Te-Wānanga-o-Aotearoa (Whirikoka Campus) to exhibit taonga raranga alongside Raranga tahito. - Erin Rauna




Family photographs are one of our greatest personal treasures. The family photo album is the one item people consider they would ‘grab’ in a fire. We see them as a collection of life’s memories rather than an assemblage of images.

The museum regularly receives donations of family photographic collections. Some are beautifully set out and each photograph described and identified, some sadly are ‘found’, perhaps in an attic, with little or no information on the people and places depicted within.

The Mahunga Collection is a collection of early twentieth century photographs donated by the Briant family. Most of the family can be identified, dates can be estimated, places and sites can be recognised but a lot of the occasions and particulars have been lost in the passing of time.

The Mahunga Collection depicts the establishment of the Mahunga farm station situated on the Te Wera Road near Matawai. The images transport us to the early 1900s and an insight to family and farming life in an isolated rural environment.

The museum wishes to thank the Briant family for their donation, creating this exhibition and to acknowledge the long time support of Bob Briant.


 Gladstone Road

  Now showing

   Horse racing in Gladstone Road

Gladstone Road, named after British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, has been the main street of Gisborne (Tûranga) since its establishment in the late 1860s.

Hotels, banks, retailers, churches, halls, theatres, a post office, a courthouse, and a newspaper have all resided on Gladstone Road.

The popularity of Gladstone Road has ensured its capture by way of photography. The museum photographic collection has a good coverage of the central business area over a number of decades. The Gladstone Road exhibition will feature some of the more interesting images of the road and the buildings associated with it.

In 1975 a photographic survey of Gladstone Road from Reads Quay to Roebuck Road was made by a university student and donated to the museum. A similar survey was made in 1993. Maybe it is time to produce another? The 1975 photographs will be 'merged' together resulting in a long continuous view of each side of Gladstone Road that will run along the walls of the photographic gallery.



 Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery



One of the major attractions at the long awaited grand opening of the museum extensions will be the purpose built and specifically designed gallery displaying Dr Jack C Richard’s eclectic collection. Taking centre stage, decorative vessels highlighting the beauty that is Art Deco and Art Nouveau by the great masters of French glass René Lalique and Émile Gallé.

Over the years, the museum has been granted privileged access to the Richard’s collection which enabled the exhibition team to produce a selection of exhibitions. In 2010 ‘Power Dressing’ curatored by Dr Damian Skinner featured the breathtaking elegance of 20 Chinese and Korean robes. In 2011 the museum presented two exhibitions, the dazzling, eye-popping ‘Guatemalan textiles’ of the Mayan culture and the lavish ornamentation of ‘Le Style Lalique’.

It is safe to say that all of these items will have their day in this designated gallery. The collection is ever growing with numerous surprises in store that will ensure visitors will delight in sharing the joy of this private collection offered for public viewing.

See video of the opening of the gallery -