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 Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori

Exhibitions 2015


 Toi Pu –Toi Rea

Toihoukura | School of Māori Visual Arts

4 December 2015 – 24 January 2016


Toi Pu: refers to the creative potential that tauira/students bring with them when they start their studies.Toi Rea is the realization and the flourishing of that creative energy.
This exhibition coincides with the annual Ruanuku Award which was established in 1995 as a partnership between Dr Jack Richards and the Tairāwhiti Museum. This award was 
put in place to acknowledge a senior Toihoukura student who excelled in their studies, their artwork, cultural practice and their leadership abilities. In addition to receiving the award, an artwork by the recipient is gifted to the Museum’s permanent collection of fine arts. In 2013 Toihoukura: School of Māori Visual Arts, celebrated 20 years of delivering contemporary Maori-specific art programmes. 
Toihoukura! Toihouora e! – “Toihoukura – Enriching Lives”

Tiki Stardust - Melanie Tahata 

  9 October 2015 –  13 December 2015


Tiki Stardust is the beginning of an adventure. Tiki is a Māori girl. She loves drawing, books, cats and sitting up late to watch 12 O Clock Rock. This exhibition is a prequel, a heraldic vision of rock n roll glory, originally glimpsed through the television in the 1980s.

Six illustrated panels tell the very beginning of Tiki and the invasion of the White Devil. S/he is a glitter clad, gender ambiguous rock god/dess that explodes into Tiki’s life. And changes everything.

These vector drawings are the product of an unfettered imagination and Adobe Illustrator. And a very good printer.

About the Artist: 
Melanie Tahata is a heartbreaker and a soul shaker, since 1973. She graduated from Elam in 1998 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a Bachelor of Arts from Waikato in 2012. Mel works primarily in graphic and installation art. Mel teaches at The Design School in Gisborne, starting her students on the pathway of full time, sustainable creativity. In her spare time, Mel likes to seek out the dark forces and join them on their hellish crusade.

 Relativity - Brown Family

  16 October 2015 –  6 December 2015


Art-working together as a family,
Relativity, is an ambitious exhibition of artworks by members of Gisborne’s creative Brown family exploring the concept of individualism within the family construct.

This exhibition will show new works by Catherine Brown, Romilly Brown and Cat Brown with a special tribute to the late Peter Brown.

Viewers will be treated to an exciting exhibition of vastly varying styles, from neo expressionism and fantasy through to lo-fi and classical fine art.

The artists:
Cat Brown – is a professional photographer and contemporary artist who paints and draws vibrant and highly colourful artworks exploring pop culture and modern life around the world.

Catherine Brown – captures the colours, textures and design of the everyday objects and also paints architectural and landscape paintings in oil and watercolour capturing the mood of the moment.

Romilly Brown – take a dip in the dark waters of mind-bending fantasy and the surreal with unusual creatures, fantastic worlds and gaming inspired micro sculpture.

Peter Brown – a winner of NZ’s prestigious Kelleher Art Award. The late Peter is recognised as one of our country’s finest exponents of the classical painting tradition.

 This Is Who We Are - Richard Rogers

  28 August 2015 –  29 November 2015


Local art teacher Richard Rogers says his latest exhibition is a composite of different cultures and touches on the procedures of repatriation. His technique, which he calls ‘sculpture painting’, is an adaptation of a process used by Edward Bullmore, one of New Zealand’s earliest surrealist visual artists.

The assembled work is built from wood before canvas is stretched and formed across it and then finally painted. Rogers’ shows are always dramatic in their visual language and the 25 large sculptural artworks he has prepared to enhance his theatrical narratives.

 Kermadec -Lines in the Ocean

  18 September 2015 –  22 November 2015

   Tafa Tafa - John Pule

The Kermadec are a group of small volcanic islands northeast of the North Island situated at the most remote point of New Zealand. They are a nature reserve, uninhabited, except for the main island, Raoul Island which is ‘manned’ by a Department of Conservation field station.

In 2011 nine artists, Dame Robin White, John Pule, Gregory O’Brien, Elizabeth Thomson, Bruce Foster, Phil Dadson, John Reynolds, Jason O’Hara and Australian Fiona Hall were invited by the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group to join them in a journey throughout the Kermadec Region ending with a visit to Tonga. This expedition was set up as a challenge for each of the artists to commit to producing a visual diary articulating their various experiences in this isolated environment.

As a result of this excursion images of ocean inspired art works were funnelled into exhibitions which were then opened in Tonga, on Easter Island, Santiago Chile and around New Zealand.


 Artists and Pottery Group

  3 July 2015 –  13 September 2015

Preview Friday 3rd July 5.30pm

                                                                                    Mt Wharekia - Ian McKelvey

The Gisborne Artists Society and Pottery groups’ annual exhibition is a culmination of artistic indulgences, art sharing and art making. Earlier flyers from the Artist Society noted that their membership continues to climb and their monthly work-shops run by experienced artists encourage keen participation.

Lysnar House studios is at the heart of all this creative energy and for a small fee all are welcome to attend weekly classes. There are the life drawing classes on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 pm with models sourced from the local Back-Packers. The Wednesday ‘morning’ Group, provides opportunities to work with others in a friendly, co-operative environment. Night classes and the occasional exhibition are also on the agenda to make better use of the facilities provided at Lysnar House.

While art may not be as essential as food and shelter, it fulfils an important purpose in our lives. Art, especially that in the visual sense can create a positive ambiance in your environment whether you realise it or not.


 Gloriously Big Pots - ceramics from the collection

  31 July 2015 – 4 October 2015

                  Aotearoa Classique -
 Baye Riddell

This exhibition features a selection of large vessels from the Museum’s ceramic collection by ceramicists of national and international acclaim.

Local clay worker, Baye Riddell is legendary for his massive pots and sculptures and for his constant crusade in spreading the gospel of ceramic art to a global audience. He has a preference for local clay sourced from his family land at Te Puia Springs and this he says evokes a respect for the material and a sense of connection with his tipuna.

Bruce and Estelle Martin are also legendary. They were among the first potters in New Zealand to make a living from their work. And in 1978 after a pivotal three month stay-over in Japan to follow their passion and interest in Japanese ceramics, they returned to their home in Hastings and built a Japanese-style anagama kiln. The anagama is fueled with firewood, in contrast to the electric or gas-fueled kilns commonly used by most potters. Other selected ceramicists included in this exhibition are Doreen Blumhardt, Nicholas Brandon, Lois Williams, Richard Rogers, Nick Strathers, Toby Strafford and Adrian Cotter.


 Sacred Bloodlines - Ephraim Russell

 17 July 2015 –  11 October 2015

Preview: Friday 17 July 5.30pm

Gisborne artist Ephraim Russell graduated with a Master's degree in Māori visual arts (Hons) in 2014 from Massey University, Palmerston North. In previous years he powered up his artistic skills attending locally established School of Māori Visual Arts, Toihoukura and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Based in Palmerston North since 2009, Russell has set about bringing his art to the local community on a large scale, mural size. He says his work is about positivity, and spreading a good message in a visually appealing way that young people can relate to.

Russell's forthcoming exhibition, Sacred Bloodlines - re-traces his genealogy through his great-great-great-grandfather the Hon. Wiremu Pere, member for the Eastern Māori electorate in the 1880s and 1890s, to many focal tipuna, including Toi te Huatahi, Kiwa, Paoa, Kupe, Paikea and Ruapani. The inspiration for this body of work is derived from the Wi Pere Trust logo designed by local artist Derek Lardelli depicting the circular eye.

 Kuia Mau Moko

  10 July 2015 –  23 August 2015

     Marti Friedlander, Karu Mohiti, from the series ‘The Moko Suite’, about 1971, gelatin silver print. Gift of The Gerrard and Marti Friedlander Charitable Trust, 2009. Te Papa (O.033720).

Kuia Mau Moko is an exhibition of 29 black and white photographs taken by Marti Friedlander in the late 60’s and early 70’s and featured in the 1972 publication authored by the late Michael King, Moko – Māori Tattooing in the 20th century.

Captivating and revealing, the book proved so popular it was republished in 1992 and has continued to inspire researchers of ta moko (the application of moko), practitioners and the revival of the moko kauae tradition over the last 20 years.

The kuia are photographed in their natural environment - in their homes, their garden or on their marae.

Gifted to Te Papa in 2009 from the Gerrard and Marti Friedlander Charitable Trust, this is the only full set of the original photographs from this collaboration in existence. A specific condition of the gift is that the ‘Moko’ collection be shared with the nation. Te Papa, through its founding philosophy of ‘Mana Taonga’, is committed to reconnecting living descendants with each of these kuia wherever possible. It will be the first time that the photographs will be shown nationally.

  Moko 1970

  10 July 2015 –  23 August 2015

MOKO 1970 is an photographic exhibition of kauae tehe (women wearing chin moko). The photographer is Jim Kerr, who in the mid 1960s noticed that the art of moko kauae (chin tattoo) appeared to be dying out and wished to record some of the last woman adorned with moko kauae. He approached a number of local woman seeking to take their image for prosperity and collated the photographs he took into an album which he titled MOKO 1970. 
The Kerr family has generously allowed the museum to copy the album and other source material for display. It is hoped that the images will illustrate the art of moko kauae, and also give whānau (families) an opportunity to reflect on their tīpuna (ancestors).

 WWI Memories - Textiles from the Gisborne Quilting Group and the museum collection

  26 June 2015 –  26 July 2015

Quilted interpretation of George Edmund Butler’s painting ‘Bellevue Ridge, Passchendale, 1918’ - Deb Williams

In 2014 the Gisborne Quilting Group produced 14 small quilted samplers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. One of the submissions for the exhibition, by Deb Williams, is a quilted interpretation of George Edmund Butler’s painting of Bellevue Ridge, Passchendale in 1918. In her words, “his painting captures the devastated Belgian landscape in the aftermath of the great battle of 1917, where many New Zealand soldiers lost their lives.”

The submission from Christine Parkin, in contrast, holds a deeply personal memory of a family member who served in the war. Written on a card, held in a simplistic card holder on grey felting, are the words, ‘This card was sent by my great uncle Henry to his parents at Ormond from his camp in England before he was sent to France in 1917.’ Each of these creations offers up tactile memories of those who survived and those who did not.

Displayed alongside these commemorative samplers is a collection of First World War printed textiles from the museum’s collection.

 World War I - From the Collection

  24 April 2015 –  22 June 2015

  Battlefield- George Edmund Butler, official NZ war artist.

The First World War (1914–1918) is a very significant event in our history, and had a deep and lingering impact on New Zealand society. The war took approximately 100,000 New Zealanders overseas, many for the first time, including a contingent from the East Coast region. Some anticipated a great adventure but found the reality very different. Being so far from home made these New Zealanders very aware of who they were and where they were from. Ten percent of our then population of one million served overseas, of which more than 18,000 died and over 40,000 were wounded. Nearly every New Zealand family was affected.

In this exhibition we will display a series of items from our Collection here in the Tairāwhiti Museum with relevance to WWI and items of significance to the Gisborne-East Coast region as a commemoration for the many that lost their lives on foreign soil, and for those who returned home.

 Inked Impressions - Prints from the Fine Arts Collection

 1 May 2015 – 12 July 2015

   Flower Study Series 6 - Penny Ormerod

From the mid 1970s through to the late 1980s, printmaker Penny Ormerod was a local force to be reckoned with, just ask any of the Gisborne Printmakers who were around at the time. Penny breezed into Gisborne in 1976 with all the passionate charm and mysticism of an inked up guru and lavishly dispensed her skills and knowledge of the art of printmaking to a small band of devotees. The enthusiastic energy from those monthly workshops culminated in a national exhibition tour for four of the members in 1985 all thanks to the enormous commitment and drive of Penny.

This exhibition from the museum Fine Arts Collection includes the work of some of those local practitioners who still share in the delights of incising, acid bathing and inking up. Blended into the exhibition are a number of national notables and of course Penny Ormerod the heart beat of the Gisborne Printmakers that pulsed all those years ago and still does.

The printmakers group meet on the first Sunday of every month in the Lysnar House Studios.


Hoof Versus Hand:The Art of Brian Campbell

  17 April 2015 – 28 June 2015

   Corporate Takeover  - Brian Campbell

‘ Since 1973 Brian Campbell has been steadily creating an imaginary world that 
uses satire, fantasy and humour in order to think through some serious, possibly even profound questions.

Hoof Versus Hand is a survey of Campbell’s distinctive career as a painter and printmaker, introducing the cast of characters that appear (and reoccur) in his images, and exploring what these characters and scenarios have to say about contemporary life.

From a self-described ‘fringe-dweller viewpoint’, Campbell’s art offers a bleak and darkly funny vision of humanity’s future. Here the humans are beastly and 
animals practice the arts of civilisation, as the lines between nature and culture are redrawn – and sometimes falter entirely.

Born in Christchurch in 1953 and resident in Gisborne, Campbell attended Elam Art School at the University of Auckland in 1980 and 1981, and has been exhibiting his work since 1986. An accomplished printmaker and painter, surfer, musician and published poet, Campbell is represented by Paul Nache Gallery, Gisborne’.

Damian Skinner

Opens Friday 17th April 2015, 5.30pm

Discussion Panel Sat. 16th May,


 The Gisborne Quilting Group - Ablaze with Colour

  24 April 2015 – 28 June 2015

   Autumn Glory (section) - Deb Williams

It seems the Gisborne Quilting Group have set themselves a task to rival the autumnal season if their exhibition title is to hold sway. This group of committed hobbyists will be producing quilts from single bed size upwards to enliven the gallery walls and bedazzle the viewer!

Recently local members attended the 16th national Quilt Symposium 2015 in the Manawatu where quilters were invited to contribute to an extensive range of fifteen themed exhibitions. Over thirty International, Australian and New Zealand tutors crammed the six day tutorial schedule and local quilter Irene Smith anticipated ‘a great reunion with lots of like minded people, good workshops and lots of talking and stitching!’

The catch cry of the Symposium was “The world of quilting is to encourage, inspire and create, so we encourage you to share in Growing the Quilting Passion globally”.

Opens Friday 24th April 2015, 5.30pm


 Graeme Mudge  QSM. 1932 – 2014

  20 February 2015 - 26 April 2015

Earlier in 2014 after the sudden death of artist Graeme Mudge many notable impressions archived away in the brain cells of the museum staff ballooned into reminiscing fervour. There were and are so many fond memories of Graeme that one year on his striding figure crossing Kelvin Park is still as fresh and vivid as today’s sunshine.

We at the Tairāwhiti Museum were privileged to be part of Graeme’s life; we celebrated milestones with him at many previews, his and others. In 2003, his 71st birthday festivities included a retrospective entitled ‘40 years on’, two birthday cakes and a crowded gallery of well wishers .His 80th year focussed on his life abroad from 1954 – 2002 with an exhibition entitled ‘Everywhere but Here’

This exhibition, a tribute to Graeme, will open on the 20th February and close on 26th April. Graeme’s birth date is April 8th

 JAN SHONE From Poverty Bay to Port Misery -  Jan Shone

  13 February 2015 - 19 April 2015

Jan Shone is from Gisborne but has lived in Adelaide in the Port Adelaide area for the last 30 years. Port Adelaide was originally named Port Misery hence the subtitle. This exhibition comprises new works on paper using a combination of drawing, painting, collage and printmaking techniques the media used is diverse

The processes involved in the making are layered, complex and random. Jan often starts working by experimenting with monoprints, marks, patterns, and observational drawings. Parts or all of these are later cut, torn and pasted into the main work. A torn or razor edge pasted into a drawing can suggest definition of an object, while a richly patterned surface can create bulk shape and interest. Nothing is planned and a work can take a while to emerge and assume form. Similar approaches (though without collage) are used in the ink wash series.

Her main subject matter is what she finds around her, in her studio and neighbourhood. In some works there is a little bit of referencing to the droll symmetry of having grown up in Poverty Bay and living most of her adult life in Port Misery.


The exhibition will be opened by Norman Maclean on Friday 13 February, 5:30pm.

Take A Long View 

  17 May 2014 - 10 May 2015

   Maize crop at Witters, 1932.


View life through a wide angle and see your horizons broaden.

From the photographic collection comes a selection of panoramic images. These wide photographs offer a field of view greater than the human eye can see at any one instant.

Landscape panoramas are most popular to take and to view. A main attraction of this effect is that it connects locations that are normally thought of as unrelated. The view from Titirangi/Kaiti Hill is a common target and a number of early vistas appear in the exhibition.

Other images demonstrate the ability to include so much in one photograph. For instance a commercial shot captures 14 trucks of the Buske firm outside the Mangapapa Garage.

Take A Long View has given the museum the opportunity to join single images found amongst the archives into one continuous wide view print. The visitor can expect to see some historic wide views never assembled before.

 Bob Marley Collection -  Smile Jamica

  23 January 2015 - 12 April 2015

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”

Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981), came from the small nation of Jamaica, he rose to prominence in the world of reggae. His philosophical and political views were entrenched in his way of life and spread worldwide through the ‘gospel’ of his lyrics.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Marley started his musical career with the Wailers in 1963. He married Rita Marley who introduced him to the Rastafari movement, an Ethiopian-Hebrew spirituality. In 1976, during a period of political violence in Jamaica, an attempt was made on Marley's life.

For the next two years he lived in self-imposed exile in England where he introduced reggae music to the western world. In 1977 Marley tested positive for malignant melanoma, he returned to Jamaica the following year. During a tour of the USA his health deteriorated and at the age of 36 he died in a Miami hospital on May 11, 1981.

 Closing The Gap - Anthony Davies

  19 December 2014  - 15 February 2015


As a professional artist in his chosen field of printmaking, Anthony Davies has had a long and prolific practice. He is adept with all printmaking techniques, prints in series, but more interestingly makes work that is meaningful, in that it conveys ideas. This exhibition celebrates a return to the traditional techniques of classical intaglio printmaking: etching, aquatint, dry point and sugar lift. Having a great ‘drawing hand’ and confidence with printmaking processes allows Davies to exploit the printmaker’s language of mark-making to express contemporary comment.

The ideas in the ‘Aotearoa’ and ‘Closing the Gap’ are gritty. The series suggest we have missed lessons from the past. They depict a terrifying present and a most uncertain future. Viewing his work raises uncomfortable questions; is New Zealand really a country grappling with growing division, seeking to define its cultural identity, and at the mercy of consumer culture?

Davies says, “I want people to think about how other people live, how they exist. People should be aware of what’s going on in the world”.


Pelt & Ngā Hau e Whā - Lisa Reihana

  12 December 2014  - 8 February 2015

                                      Camarillo - Lisa Reihana

In November of 2014 multimedia artist Lisa Reihana was the recipient of the prestigious Art Laureate award. An award described by the Arts Foundation, as an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.

Lisa’s multimedia disciplines include film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, text and photography.

Pelt and Ngā Hau e Whā by Lisa Reihana are two photographic exhibitions currently on tour. Both highlight Lisa’s attention to the complexities of contemporary photography whilst giving her own spin ‘about gender roles and how to transgress culture in a respectful way’.

Ngā Hau e Whā – personifies the children of the winds and was traditionally described as male. However in this series they feature the artist’s four nieces. Originally this was part of a commission for Te Papa Tongarewa; these particular images have been reworked and printed to a larger format.

PELT – classically gothic in theme this series of pale nudes draped in fur and ‘tailed’ in feathers, has each figure poised on a sparse and bleached landscape.


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