Insert Coin: Kereama Taepa at the Tauranga Art Gallery


As part of The Tauranga Art Gallery 10th Anniversary celebrations Papamoa based artist, Kereama Taepa was commissioned to develop a special work for the gallery. Kereama creates unique works of pixelated visual art. Insert Coin is the title of an unusual hard edge immersion style of art. The venue is inside the gallery’s lift. It will be on display through January 2018.

The Tauranga Art Gallery ground floor lift door “insert Coin”

Part of the images at the base of the lift door

Part of the left inner wall of the lift located work    (above three photos, Rosemary Balu)

Kereama’s skills are evident in the electronic meshing of personal Maori and Pakeha family background. Kereama’s ideas, ideals, history and social media understanding are drawn, built, into a virtual reality experience. Images referencing those found in other street art works of the Paradox Inside Exhibition

Details of Taepa’s work

The pixelated tiki  (above three photos Rosemary Balu)

But not all of his images are virtual. Kereama has four large aluminium sculptures in Wellington whose 2 year reign is coming to a close Taepa’s sculpture Bicultural Dialogue I, won the Rotorua Museum $10,000 Supreme Art Award. 

Kareama Taepa's $10,000 Award winning work Bicultural I.


When the Friends of the Tauranga Art Gallery met on Wednesday 6 September. Kereama was the guest speaker and TAG Friend, ARTbop photographer Lee Switzer was there.

Friends Ciska Vogelsgang and Kereama Taepa at the Tauranga Art Gallery Photo Lee Switzer

 The beautifully produced Tauranga Art Gallery Programme 10 says:-

Insert Coin – Kereama Taepa Commissioned for the Gallery’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, Papamoa-based artist Kereama Taepa has created one of his unique graphic mash-ups inside the Tauranga Art Gallery lift.

Using imagery from contemporary popular culture mixed with Maori kowhaiwhai designs and symbols he has transformed this small space into an immersive gaming environment, in which each person who enters becomes an unwitting avatar. Around you, choppers fly in formation towards a deconstructing cubic tiki as Super Mario clones bounce away to their own beat. Knuckle-duster daisies smile sweetly beneath a pixelated pare (carved door lintel) that hovers above the only exit. This will not be your typical arcade experience.

ARTbop editor Rosemary Balu says: “I’m often in our Tauranga Art Gallery. Because I’m a more than regular “visitor” I’ve been privileged to see aspects of gallery life I would miss if I only came to view specific exhibitions. One day, while I’m there, someone is lining the stainless steel lift with graphic sheeting. I’m entranced and stand and watch as this meticulous process takes place. The result – Insert Coin. I smile every time I walk past the lift.

Capturing the images above involved me racing the door as it determinedly slid to close. Although the promotional image in the gallery programme shows young children admiring this art work Insert Coin raises the significant and ongoing issue of “what is Maori art?”

At the opening of the Bob Jahnke exhibition, a young Maori student of Toi Ohomai’s Bachelor of Creative Arts degree briefly spoke about what is a Maori artist? An artist of Maori descent. How they express their creativity will be influenced by who they are but may take highly varying forms. The following day Professor Jahnke spoke to this issue in his wonderful floor talk.

Exhibitions in the gallery have given us the opportunity to see the diversity of styles of contemporary Maori art. Even if you would usually use the stairs – take the lift at the Tauranga Art Gallery and surround yourself with contemporary Maori art!

Kereama’s work in the Tauranga Art Gallery lift will be there until January 2018.  Kereama Taepa has a website displaying further examples of his arts practice

Make a day of it at the Tauranga Art Gallery. During the week parking Downtown’s a bit of a nightmare. Try leaving the car at Greerton and catching the bus Downtown (or go on a Sunday!) Spend and hour or two in the Gallery – there are several exhibition areas. Then have something to eat in one of the cafes in Wharf Street. Although it’s primarily a bar and restaurant, last Sunday I had lunch at Rye (right next to the Gallery). While they could only offer me Earl Grey Tea (shame) I had a huge fresh and scrumptious salad – described as a “side salad” it was served on what most of us would call a small dinner plate. My friend’s “plate of chips” was actually a large bowl of tangy springs of fries – more than enough for two so when invited, I sampled (repeatedly). Dry Dock cafe is also open 7 days a week and has a great range of hot drinks and cafe food (including cabinet savoury and sweets and salads).

After you’ve done that you could take a walk up Devonport Road. You’ll find The Art Lounge on the left of Devonport Road. A gallery and studio space under the direction of artist Mira Corbova-Smith. Over the road in the Goddard Centre is Macandmor – a gallery showing a wide range of work by local artists. (Check their website or facebook pages for opening hours).

If you brought your car – don’t miss visiting the Historic Village at 17th Avenue. An increasing arts hub for the Central Avenues area of Tauranga the Village has recently seen the opening of “The People’s Gallery” under the auspices of The Incubator arts collective.

Lee Switzer: Lee is a regular contributor to ARTbop – photo essays, articles and poetry. Lee is multi-talented producing sought-after images of local artists and exhibitions. He has been an archival photographer around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty for some years – the details of this body of work are below. You can find examples of Lee’s contributions in our ARTbop archives.

More photos by Lee Switzer at


Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Friends of the Tauranga Art Gallery – Nga Mata Ratarata o Toi Tauranga are art enthusiasts committed to supporting the Gallery socially, financially and as art advocates.
By becoming a Friend you will play a vital role in the continuing support of the Gallery. You can be actively involved by participating in events organised specifically for our members or you can simply consider your fee a donation to the ongoing betterment of our Gallery and receive invitations and information.  

Friends receive:

  • invitations to Gallery Exhibition openings
  • invitations to Gallery functions such as presentations and performances
  • invitations to Art in the Afternoon which is held 10 times yearly on Wednesday at 2.45 pm. Art in the Afternoon is a platform for Friends to hear from local artists and others engaged in the arts community.  General public $5.  Friends: Gold coin donation
  • Regular newsletters and updates
  • Invitations to Friends only events such as:
  • Art at Home – private collection viewing
  • Art Away – guided tours to museums and galleries in other centres
  • Art at the Gallery – guided tours of exhibitions in the Gallery
  • Art in Studios – visiting local artist studios
  • In addition, you will receive:
  • 10% discount off general retail merchandise at the Gallery
  • $2 off any ticket purchased to any movie showing at Rialto Cinema in Tauranga (membership card required at time of purchase)

For more information please contact the Friends by email.         


Friends Annual Membership fees:

  • Individual $25
  • Family/Couple $40 
  • Student $15

Membership can be for yourself OR you can gift it to an art lover as a gift that keeps on giving — it lasts a whole year!

Phone +64 (0) 7 578 7933
Cnr Wharf – Willow Streets, Downtown Tauranga
Box 13255 Tauranga, 3110, New Zealand
Open 7 days – 10.00am – 4.30pm

FRIENDS EXHIBITION: (These friends are a group of five Katikati based artists!)

The exhibition will be held at Harry Maddox Jewellers, 18 Main Road, Katikati, where there is a modern gallery space.

It will be open Saturday 30th Sept – Saturday 7th Oct

Sat & Sun 9:00 – 4:00, Mon – Fri 9:00 – 4:30

One of the artists will be available for a chat Sat 30th, Sun 1st, Thurs 5th, Fri 6th, and Sat 7th, from 10:00 – 4:00. We look forward to seeing you there.


Coming up at the end of September – the NZ Mural Contest & Festival

Check out Birgitt’s article about what’s coming up in the NZ Mural Contest


2017 Rotorua Museum Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists Judges Selection of Works

Until: Friday, 6 October 2017
Venue: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts CentreTime: 10am – 4pm

Price: Free entry

Highlighting the exceptional talent of artists throughout the Bay of Plenty, this exhibition will showcase winners and finalists from the 2017 Rotorua Museum Art Awards.

Kereama Taepa has won out over 148 other entries from across the Bay of Plenty to take out the $10,000 Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Award with his work Bicultural Dialogue I. Judge Emma Bugden said what set this work apart for her was its simplicity; superbly executed, smart and funny which drew her in and held her attention.

“While the sculpture tackles big subjects—the complexity of cultural identity and the changing nature of craft in a digital era—it does it with cheek and humour. The legacy of tradition is seen through a contemporary lens, simultaneously throwing light on the past and the future.”

The $1,000 Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award went to Jill Fleming for her work Ascension and Cheyenne Rose was named as Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist for her work Legs.

The Rotorua Museum Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists 2017 displays these three award winning works alongside 45 specially selected entries at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre until 6 October 2017.

While the exhibition is on display people can vote for their favourite artwork either in the gallery or via the Rotorua Museum Facebook page. This year the More FM People’s Choice Award will offer $500 to the artist whose work receives the most public votes in the gallery and $500 for the work with the most online votes by the end of the exhibition (6 October 2017).

Entry to the exhibition at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre is free and will be open daily between 10am – 4pm from 9 September until 6 October 2017.

For the first time this year Rotorua Museum will be displaying works that were not chosen for the finalist exhibition in a Salon des Refusés. This exhibition will be hosted at Rotorua Library (1238 Pukuatua Street, Rotorua) from 14 September until 7 October 2017 (during normal library opening hours).

All artworks from both exhibitions will be on sale to the public throughout the exhibition period.

For further information please contact Rotorua Museum, phone 07 350 1814 or email                 AND…



Bob Jahnke – ATA: a third reflection 

9 September 2017 – January 2018

Reflections upon past events, like reflections in a mirror, are inherently skewed to the perspective of the viewer. Ata, meaning form or reflection, explores the connections between light and reflection, history and retrospection.

Like light through a prism, Jahnke’s sculptures offer us alternative perspectives, expanding our linear view of history into a spectrum of thought and colour. Symbols within the works cite nineteenth and early twentieth century Māori spiritual leaders such as Te Kooti Arikirangi and Rua Kēnana, reflecting on the artistic and religio-political innovations of their era.

Professor Robert (Bob) Jahnke is of Ngāi Taharora, Te Whānau-a-Iritekura, Te Whānau a Rakairoa o Ngāti Porou, Samoan-German, Scottish and Irish descent. As a significant figure in contemporary Māori art, Jahnke has an extensive exhibition history and has works in major public and private collections throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. 

This exhibition has been developed and toured by Pātaka Art + Museum.

This exhibition at Tauranga Art Gallery has been generously supported by Kinetic Recruitment


Bridget Reweti, Irihanga

9 September 2017 – January 2018

Wellington-based artist Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi), who is originally from Tauranga Moana, has created an installation highlighting the 150 years since the Tauranga Bush Campaign that resulted in the raupatu (confiscation) of Tauranga Moana. Drawing on Pai Marire iconography and native flora, Reweti’s work portrays the complex ecosystem of the Kaimai, the area where the scorched earth policy was most intensely enforced.

Irihanga, which means to suspend or to hang, references various devices that have been used throughout early colonial history in Aotearoa. Haki (flags) and heke (rafters in a meeting house) have at various times both been employed as a way to communicate unification, dissension or to signal change        AND


Selection of objects created by Whakatāne Society of Arts and Crafts members.


Sat, 29/07/2017 (All day) to Sun, 15/10/2017 (All day)

Visual Expressions showcases selected works by members of the Whakatāne Society of Arts and Crafts.  

Glyn Harper


Sat, 16/09/2017 –

4:00pm to 6:00pm

Glyn Harper, Professor of War Studies at Massey University will explore the battle of Passchendaele during a special presentation at the opening of Commemorating Passchendaele – Home Front to Front Line by artist Robyn Hughes.




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