Tauranga Arts Festival 2017: the visual arts programme


The Tauranga Arts Festival has a significant visual arts programme running in conjunction with the 10 day Tauranga Arts Festival happening now around Tauranga.  Rosemary Balu, ARTbop’s Managing Editor has been along to some of the exhibitions and event openings.

It’s all go now. The visual arts programme is diverse. The Tauranga Art Gallery “The Future Machine” outlines the exhibitions featured in the Gallery until 21st January. The back page of the brochure lists other visual art exhibition sites and dates.

The exquisite painterly technique of Michelle Estall at the Incubator – an exhibition recording both her increasing awareness of her heritage and her own family’s journey of re-association. Legend & Legacy The Incubator to 30th October 2017

The sophisticated design and execution elements of the work of Graham Crow at Zeus Gallery. Recognisable Crow running the gamut from metallic polish to organic layering. Respected master craftsman Crow has also had a role in mentoring the development of Estall. Down Up: New Works by Graham Crow, Zeus Gallery to 28th October 2017

Last night I was privileged see Vessel: the work of senior art students and lecturers at Toi Ohomai. It’s the work of four women of Pacific Island descent. Some of it is confronting. It all exposes a depth of talent and a heritage reference. It’s on the ground floor of the beautiful M Block, at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to 29th October 2017.

Wednesday night I visited the pop-up gallery created for the work of Tracey Tawhiao in conjunction with the performance by Ria Hall – Rules of Engagement. Ria’s compositions are based on the written rules put forward by Henare Taratoa before what is now called “The Battle of Gate Pa” Tawhiao’s exhibition which includes a selection of her embellished, decorative pieces, is more than heritage sourced visual art. In his opening address Charlie Tawhiao, the Chair of Ngai te Rangi iwi pointed out that nothing has changed. Simply done, Tawhiao’s works are contemporary political statements. Yes, you may have to have a basic knowledge of Maori visual symbols and local colonial history but the statements are there as much as they are in the contemporary art of Bob Jahnke at the Tauranga Art Gallery.

Ria Hall and Tracey Tawhiao at the opening of the exhibition Rules of Engagement

This pop up space was created at speed with a great deal of hard work by Keith Abbott (artist), Parewhati Taikato (curator and gallery host) and Mickey Tucker (Ria Hall’s Manager). Tracey’s work was to have been exhibited in the Baycourt foyer but a decision was made by her team that there were presentation advantages to her work being displayed in a well-lit gallery space. Fabulous effort to overnight transform a blancmange pink space into a crisp white contemporary gallery. Rules of Engagement, the exhibition of the work of Tracey Tawhiao supporting the performance and compositions of Ria Hall is in the Goddard Centre, Downtown Tauranga. There are also copies of Ria’s DVD available for sale.

While you’re in the Goddard Centre you can also visit established gallery Macandmor – a wide selection of local creativity.

One of the simpler expositions of technological art – but so elegant…

And these are just…

And, The Art of Technology AOT – the exhibition created again by Murray Clode and his team displaying technologically created art of all sorts. Murray and his team have been building up this exhibition on the basis that it will develop into the local equivalent of WOW – the World of Wearable Art. While it’s worth going to see the current exhibition as an individual event – it’s more important to visit the exhibition and see what could possibly be done with this concept to create a significant exhibition, event, festival, ongoing exhibition for the sub-region.

Sunlive’s Rosalie Liddle-Crawford in reporting and recording mode at AOT opening

This concept needs space and support to grow. In the meantime, if you’re Downtown Tauranga – check it out. At the Goddard Centre, Downtown Tauranga until 5th November 2017.

The quiet of morning on the Tauranga Waterfront

I’m ending where I started – at 7am on the Tauranga Waterfront waiting to hear Ria Hall and her Choir sing in the day and the Festival. So worth the 5am start and a lasting memory of this year’s Tauranga Arts Festival. The singing of the volunteer choir was hauntingly beautiful. The waterfront was superbly still and warm. I could have heard more and perhaps there could be a space in the 2019 programme for Ria Hall and the Choir as a more substantial event. Thank you to the Festival Team for the privilege of being part of this experience.

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.


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                                   Affordable Art & Artisan Fair______________________

ARTbop and The Black Sheep Bar & Grill have gotten together to create the ‘Affordable Art & Artisan Fair’ which will take place on the last Sunday of every month excluding December starting on the 26th November and run from 11am – 3pm.

This event will be open to local artists and artisans who produce high quality, original, handmade pieces. We are looking for a commitment to four fairs (Nov, Jan, Feb & March) at a cost of $40 ($10 per fair). The great news is there will be no commission.

The Black Sheep has a large outdoor area ideal for setting up trestle tables. Much of it is under cover. There is also a big area where marquees can be set up. Although the venue is large there will be a selection process if there isn’t room for everyone.

ARTbop will be conducting a widespread advertising campaign and this, along with the good food at Black Sheep and the wonderful ambience of the venue, are sure to make this fair a huge ongoing success. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it. Email your details including your website to Birgitt at aaafair17@gmail.com


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