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

TOI TAMANUHIRI - Mana Whenua - Mana Moana - Manga Tangata

                                     Our Land - Our Ocean - Our People

 15 December 2013 - 31 March 2014

Nei rā te mihi, te mihi nunui, te mihi mahana ki a koutou. Piki mai, kake mai ki a Toi Tāmanuhiri.

Koinei te whakakitenga e pā ana te iwi o Ngāi Tāmanuhiri.  Mai i ngā rā o mua, tae noa atu ki ngā ra a muri, i whakapuakitia te tikanga, ngā kōrero, ngā waiata, ngā wawata hoki mō mātou whānau.   

Ko tō mātou hikoi i ngā tau tekau i pahi, he mea whakamārama, he mea mamae, he mea wewete hoki.  Kua whawhai mātou, kua tau mātou ngā take e pā ana ki te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Heoi, kua tae mai te wa, kia whakanui o ō mātou Tupuna, Whānau, Mokopuna hoki.  

Kua ora ake te iwi o Ngāi Tāmanuhiri.


Toi Tāmanuhiri has been born from a desire to express the history, stories, songs and aspirations of our Whanau, from the past, the present and perceptions of the future. Our journey in recent decades has been illuminating, painful and liberating as we fought for and then settled historic breaches to the Treaty of Waitangi. The time has arrived to celebrate our Tupuna, Whanau and Mokopuna.  We have survived.




15 15 15  - Patrick Tyman


 20 December 2013 - 9 February 2014

                 Paysage du jardin  - Patrick Tyman

15, 15, 15 – A Cross Cultural Journey takes the viewer through a sumptuous and highly decorative glimpse of the retrospective world of Patrick Tyman. Each 15 references the number of years spent in India, England and latterly New Zealand and spans all three cultural encounters through the medium of screen printing, oils and watercolours

“I firmly believe that by bringing together several disciplines in art making and constructing strong cross cultural links, art can excite, challenge and extend cultural experiences and this connects with our people, place and identity.”

Patrick Tyman is Head of Art at Iona College in Havelock North and since immigrating to New Zealand in 1996 has incorporated the flora and vibrancy of Pacifica into his imagery. His printing technique which combines intricate colour combinations and multi-layering will be the subject of a demonstration and gallery floor talk.

Opening 5:30pm, 20 December 2013



To Be Pacific

 20 September - 24 November 2013

 Niue -Lina Marsh                                           Cabin Aunty 2013 - Anita Jacobsen

Gisborne is home for many pacific families. To celebrate, the museum is hosting a range of pacific inspired events for our community.

To Be Pacific is Gisborne’s first large scale collective pacific exhibition. It features 22 pacific artists living both in Aotearoa and abroad. Curated by Niuean artist Lina Marsh, the multi-disciplined exhibition is an exploration of what it means to be a Pacific island artist and explores stories past and present. Artists include: Niki Hastings- McFall, Glenda Vilisoni, Sale Jessop, Leanne Clayton, CeePalalagi, AnivaFitisemanu, Fili Taylor, Christie Patumaka, Dagmar Dyck, Rowena Fuluifaga, Nanette Lela’ulu, Sylvia Masters, Loloma Andrews, Merisa Bickerstaff, Siliga David Setoga, JakkiLeota-Ete, KahuFalaoa, Manu Caddie, Chris Van Doren, Anita Jacobsen, Grace Taylor, SheyneTuffery, Lina Marsh, and the work of senior school students from Gisborne Boys High, Lytton High School and Campion College.

Members from the Tongan and Cook Island community will open the exhibition with traditional dance and some good ole island food.


As part of the To Be Pacific exhibition, a select group of Gisborne secondary school students will get a chance to hone their talents and try new art related ideas in a Fresh Horizons workshop.

An initiative run by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, the 3 day workshop is an opportunity for students to work alongside established Pacific artists – in this case, Sheyne Tuffery (printmaking), Leanne Clayton (multimedia) and Grace Taylor (performance poetry). The aim is to give the students a stimulating art experience under the eye of positive, enthusiastic role models, and reinforce the value of continued education. The work the students produce will be given immediate exposure by being included in To Be Pacific.



Event - Screening

  14 September

 Tairāwhiti Museum will screen the documentary Te Hono ki Aotearoa in the Discovery Centre at the museum at 2pm on Saturday 14th September. 
 The director/producer Jan Bieringa will attend the screening. read more..


 Celebrating the Transit of Venus in Cloth

 14 June 2013 –  15 September 2013



   Southern Seas Kathy Grimson

In 2011 it was suggested our group, Gisborne Quilters, hold an exhibition to celebrate the Transit of Venus. To prepare for this we visited Tolaga Bay and attended a lecture by Kelly Blackman. 

There was much googling and research done, especially on the navigation of Captain Cook from Tahiti to New Zealand. Our exhibition is diverse and exciting and the group has relished this opportunity to learn more about our history. 

Irene Smith

Since the quilters were enticed into interpreting the Transit of Venus through textural creations, a number of excited exhibition meetings ensued. With each meeting fresh ideas, books and images were exchanged and critiqued and historical research discussed, all accompanied by the obligatory swill of refreshments and slices of pot luck.  The resulting exhibition shows that needle and thread can muster as much might as a sable brush and canvas.

 What the press said...


Matrix - Norman Maclean

12 April 2013 - 9 June 2013

        The Heart It Is That Sings -
Norman Maclean

This exhibition of prints, drawings and mixed media works incorporating etching collage, represents a period of 36 years involvement in the print-making process. The techniques were first learned when a group formed in 1976 under the tutelage of noted print-maker, Penny Ormerod.

A matrix may be defined as any place in which things are developed, from the womb to an artist’s notebook where ideas appear - or a zinc plate first made ready for the acid bath to begin the etching process. A matrix is the substance between cells. It is a mould in which an image is cast or shaped.

Much of my work springs from the imagination. I impulsively draw letting line take me where it will but also enjoying and greatly appreciating the value of observational drawing. Landscape, architecture and the human form have provided inspiration here.

But my personal satisfaction discovered in symbols, archetypes, the timelessness of words and the fabric of the collective unconscious, motivates much that is shown here.

Norman Maclean


 In With The New

25 January 2013 - 7 April 2013

Forgive Me Father For I Am Sinning - Brian Campbell     Forgive me Father for I am sinning - Brian Campbell

Over the last two years the museum has acquired a healthy number of donations and purchases for the fine arts collection. Early next year a selection of the latest acquisitions will festoon the walls of the main gallery heralding the birth of the museum’s extensions. This exhibition will feature amongst other diverse and stimulating imagery, a large oil on canvas by Robyn Kahukiwa donated by the artist and prints by Gretchen Albrecht, Dick Frizzel, and Brian Campbell sponsored by The Friends of the Museum.

“In with the New” is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge all the donors and artists who continue to nurture the museum and its fine arts collection.

   Unseen - Peter Ireland

   23 February 2013 - 21 April 2013

Natural History : Gisborne Beach Shells - Peter Ireland
               Natural History : Gisborne Beach Shells -
Peter Ireland

 Twelve previously unexhibited paintings by Peter Ireland held in Gisborne private collections.

This small group of works dating from 1984 collectively illustrate a web of social connection and the ties that bind in the Gisborne community. Some of the paintings commemorate the lives of several of the artist’s friends and associates, local people who in their individual ways added to the diversity and richness of Tairâwhiti, illustrating the human capital that gives this area such a unique flavour.

Other works connect with the living, often being gifts or tokens of exchange in appreciation for support and encouragement over a long period. There are some intersections of these two strands as well, giving reality to the notion of a web of connection celebrating community support and friendship.

Most of the paintings involve depictions of the landscapes of Poverty Bay and the East Coast, anchoring this web visually in the local, the familiar and the cherished.

The exhibition opening will be followed by a short floor talk by the artist.


Exhibition Opening 2:00pm Saturday 23 February 2013 

Thirty-Three - Matt Couper

February 2013 - 17 March 2013

2006 Retablo 2009 -Matt Couper
2006_Retablo_2009 -
Matthew Couper

Thirty-Three presents a series of paintings by Matthew Couper executed in 2009 at the age of 33, as a ‘rite of passage’. Each painting documents a year of the artist’s life, so the exhibition takes the viewer on Couper’s journey, from growing up in Hawkes Bay, to attending art school, travelling overseas, teaching and painting, learning lessons, encountering misfortune and luck and exploring ideas of mortality, sex and religion.

Painted in a chronological narrative, the style of the work references the Spanish Colonial painting genre of the retablo. It also alludes to ex-votos—nineteenth century devotional paintings executed by village artisans. These were commissioned by a client in gratitude to a specific patron saint to acknowledge an incident or personal experience.
The focal point of the exhibition is the eponymous installation resembling a makeshift altar for rebirth rituals. The number 33 is often related to Christ’s death and resurrection in Christian religion, but is also a prominent number associated with rebirth rituals throughout different cultures.

Matthew Couper is represented by PAULNACHE, Gisborne.

Accoutrements -
Raewyn Walsh

30 November 2012 - 17 February 2013

Vessel Pendants 2012 -
Raewyn Walsh


Accoutrements the exhibition, was born from an on-going interest in vessels and traditional silver-smithing techniques. Handmade silverware has fallen from favour due to the time it takes to make and the effort required in its care.

In an effort to breathe life into these practices, this show re-imagines the vessel and its associated accoutrements as jewellery.

Raewyn Walsh grew up in Gisborne and now works as a jeweller and silversmith in Auckland. Work is held in Tairawhiti Museum Collection and the James Wallace Arts Trust as well as private collections in New Zealand and Australia. In 2011 she won the premier prize in the Objective Art Awards. Raewyn is a current trustee on the Objectspace board and an active member of the Jewellers Guild of Greater Sandringham.

Exhibition Opening: 5:30pm Friday 30 November 2012