Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year.
The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday 13 June to Sunday 12 July.
“The theme of this year’s festival, ‘He rau tangata, he kōingo aroha / people gather and affirm love in a myriad of ways’, gives us an opportunity to show how love can be expressed through dance, art, songs and music,” Te Papa’s Matariki spokesperson Mere Boynton says.
“It also allows us to reflect on the centenary of World War One and remember the many people and families affected by war. During Matariki, we gather together to think about love in times of adversity and how it was expressed in so many ways.”
Key exhibitions and events in the Wellington Matariki Festival 2015 include:
- Art Night (2 July): For one magical starry night, experience six galleries open late with free transport between them. Includes special events and performances.
- Some of Aotearoa’s most experienced and revered Māori entertainers take the stage at Te Papa in New Zealand Post Kaumātua Kapa Haka (4 & 5 July) featuring tribal action songs and haka from the First World War era.
- On 18 June, Ngā Whetū o Matariki Concert at Te Papa features two of Aotearoa’s hottest musicians, Ria Hall and Robert Ruha, performing with winners of the Te Papa Matariki music competition.
- Join Te Papa’s iwi (tribe) in residence, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, for an action-packed weekend of entertainment, workshops, and activities for all Te Papa (27 & 28 June).
- Poi E/Thriller Flash Mob (13 June) in Wellington’s Civic Square. Inspired by City Gallery Wellington’s Candice Breitz exhibition, in which 16 hardcore Michael Jackson fans perform the entire ‘Thriller’ album. Join in and learn the moves to the cultural mash-up of ‘Poi E’ and ‘Thriller’ from Taika Waititi’s hit film Boy.
- Facing The Light: Leading New Zealand writers share their thoughts on Matariki, with excerpts from their own works (18 June) at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea.
- Lex French’s acclaimed Jazz Ensemble performs his new Matariki Suite (17 June); Chamber Music New Zealand takes a musical journey through Matariki (July 8);Whanau Day (5 July); and a pre-dawn viewing of the Matariki star cluster (27 June) from Tangi te Keo Matairangi (Mt Victoria) at Space Place at Carter Observatory.
- A new installation by Reweti Arapere; two ceramics exhibitions run throughout the Festival – Lucie Rie: A New Zealand Connection and a major survey of work by celebrated ceramic artist Bronwynne Cornish; Walk Amongst The Stars (3 July) – an evening experience discovering the Matariki night sky; and Māori and Pacific Island artist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (13 June) at Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt.
- For the first time ever The National Geographic brings its 50 greatest photographs to New Zealand. From 23 May – 26 July, check out some of the most remembered and celebrated photographs in the world at Expressions Whirinaki, Upper Hutt.
- Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua, has two major exhibitions running through the Festival – Ngataiharuru Taepa’s Te Tini A Pitau : 12 Years of Kowhaiwhai and Wi Taepa’s exhibition Think Colour as well as a special Matariki education programme.
- He Toi Reikorangi (13 June to 12 July) celebrates 25 leading Te Atiawa artists; performances by Matiu Te Huki (2 July) and Aja Wairere Ropata (13 June); Taa Moko demonstrations (13 & 14 June); and writers Tina Makereti and Queenie Rikihana-Hyland in dialogue (14 June) at Mahara Gallery, Waikanae