Celebrate Matariki with mahi toi in Pōneke


The 2024 Matariki Courtenay Place light boxes outdoor exhibition, Tēnei te otinga tū, celebrates the centenary of local poi manu group Ngā uki o te mounga, in their second collaboration with local artist Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Wairangi, Te Pāpaka-o-Māui). 

The images presented within the lightboxes have been made using combinations of photographic techniques, digital video, projection and live performance.

Shannon says one of the fun challenges of the project was to try and reflect visually what is primarily a sonic and physical medium. 

“Alongside this, the story of Ngā uki o te mounga stretches over a century, involving generations of people across an expansive geography. 

“This series is a photographic response that in many ways conflates these elements. The visual language at play with this series is stretched and layered simultaneously. The resulting images evoke a deep physical presence within the setting of Courtenay Place and essentially aim to highlight the potential of art and poi to direct one’s sense of place within a context that can, if we are open to it, connect us to much more than that which is in plain sight.”

The outdoor public exhibition located at 77-97 Courtenay Place in central Wellington runs until early October. 

The WAITUHI flag series at Frank Kitts Park is this year designed by local artist, Hemi McGregor (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe), Senior Lecturer, Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University.

Every year, Māori artists from across the Wellington region are invited to submit designs for flags reflecting the area and Matariki, to be raised on the eight flag poles that flank Frank Kitts Park facing Whairepo Lagoon. 

The flag series, titled Ngā kai a Matariki, nāna i ao ake ki runga – The food supplies of Matariki, scooped up, will be raised from Friday 28 June until late August.

Also, as part of the Matariki festival, Toi Pōneke will host Aho Hononga – a one of a kind Mana Whenua exhibition to be held at the gallery throughout July. 

With representation from Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Āti Awa and Taranaki Whānui, Aho Hononga will explore a wide range of practices and artforms including raranga, tukutuku, whakairo, photography, jewellery, painting with special public programmes from Keri-Mei Zagrobelna, Keanyn Arthur, Kauia Moriarty, Vianney Parata and Whareahuru Gilbert.

The exhibition and events start the end of June, find out more information and how to make bookings at toiponeke.nz.

There are also many events celebrating Matariki around Pōneke, find out more at wellington.govt.nz/matariki. 

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