City Gallery

Past exhibition


30 April–14 August 2022

Awareness of time, place and experience all drive the work of the artists featured in Matarau.

The word Matarau refers to a multi-pronged spear used for fishing and eeling by early Māori. As a hunter or wayfinder must understand the shifting conditions around them to fulfil their purpose; the work of the artists in Matarau draw from a strong sense of who and where they are as a compass for their own practice.

For these artists, lived experience and their artwork are completely connected. The same can be said for the ideas and realities that drive their making. Whakapapa, the environment, politics, and love are systems that are not linear, often connected while being inseparable from our daily experience. The works within Matarau traverse aspects of daily life while being connected to deep set ideas spurred on by artistic imagination.

As our sense of a predictable daily existence has become completely fraught, the value of art that accepts life as a verb has become more pressing and vital. Matarau acknowledges practices that hold the multi-faceted social awareness that art and life now demands of us all.

Matarau is curated by Shannon Te Ao for City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi. It includes new works by Robyn Kahukiwa, Emily Karaka, Hemi Macgregor, Ming Ranginui, Kei te pai press, and James Tapsell-Kururangi.


Artist bios:

Robyn Kahukiwa (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Ngāti Kōnohi, Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare) is based on the Kapiti Coast. Recent exhibitions include Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020; Lets NOT Celebrate Cook, Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, 2020; and Papatūānuku/Earth Mother​, Black Door Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2019.

Emily Karaka (Waikato, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Te Kawerau ā Maki, Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Ākitai, Waiohua, Te Ahi Waru, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Tahinga, Ngāti Hine) is based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Recent exhibitions include Rāhui, Visions, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2021; Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020; NIRIN: 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2020.

Hemi Macgregor (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu , Ngāi Tūhoe) is based in Paekākāriki. Recent exhibitions include Toitū Te Whenua, Toitū Te Moana, Toitū Te Tangata, Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, 2021; Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020; Remote Control, Page Galleries, Te Whanganui-a-tara, 2012.

Kei te pai press is an indigenous-led education and publishing initiative established by Hana Pera Aoake (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Hinerangi, Tainui/Waikato) and Morgan Godfery (Te Pahipoto, Ngāti Manaipoto, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Lalomanu). Recent publications include TE KOREKORE, 2020; and Mai i te poo kit e ao Maarama, 2019.

Ming Ranginui (Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi) is based in Whanganui. Recent exhibitions include Cruel Optimism: New Artist Show, Artspace, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2021; Bling Ring, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-tara, 2021 and Learner Lover, play_station, Te Whanganui-a-tara, 2021.

James Tapsell-Kururangi (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Tainui, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Rākairoa) is based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Recent exhibitions include He waiata aroha, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-tara, 2021 and Crossings (a group show about intimacies and distances), Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Te Whanganui-a-tara, 2021.


Matarau  has been generously supported by the Deane Endowment Trust and the City Gallery Wellington Foundation.