Louie Zalk-Neale, <i>Research image</i>, 2021. 
Courtesy of the artist.

Louie Zalk-Neale, Research image, 2021.
Courtesy of the artist.

Louie Zalk-Neale: Ngā Manuhiri Taura

Public Relations: A performance series
  • Sat 27 Aug 2022
  • 2:10—4PM
  • Offsite at Ōnukutaipari / Back Beach
  • Please wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes.
  • A free public shuttle will depart and return to the entrance of the Govett-Brewster.
  • 2:10 pm - Please meet in Gallery foyer to catch the shuttle
  • 2:30 pm - Performance begins offsite
  • After the performance, tea, coffee and light kai will be served at the performance site.

The Govett-Brewster’s series of newly commissioned performances launches on Saturday 27 August, with Louie Zalk-Neale’s project Ngā Manuhiri Taura (The Visiting Ropes) with support from Rangimarie Keall.

Taking place at Ōnukutaipari, Back Beach, Zalk-Neale’s project is influenced by ancestral stories and customary crafting techniques. The artist will open a shared space in the koru of time for a ritualistic performance that builds on their explorations of what takatāpuitanga means.

Making use of found, gathered and recycled materials transformed into body adornments, the performance embodies whakapapa links to te taiao (the environment) and draws upon Dr Elizabeth Kerekere’s concept of Mana Tipua - which speaks to the shapeshifting power and fluid gender of the taniwha and other spiritual beings as a potential grounding for takatāpui and trans identity in the present.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a (taura) rope with them, which will be used as part of the performance.

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A free public shuttle will depart and return to the entrance of the Govett-Brewster.
Please meet in the foyer at 2:10 pm
Spaces on the shuttle are limited, to confirm your spot please email: elaine.rollins@govettbrewster.com

Please meet in the Ōnukutaipari / Back Beach carpark, near the Herekawe Stream. We will walk together to the performance site on the beach.

After the performance, tea, coffee and light kai will be served at the performance site.

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About the artist:

Louie Zalk-Neale (Ngāi Te Rangi, Pākehā) is an artist who embraces the power of body adornment to affirm their takatāpuitanga in a range of artistic practices. They recycle fabrics and wield materials from forests, beaches and gutters to add meticulously crafted extensions to their body. They immerse their audience in ritualistic performances, bringing queer visions of the past and future abruptly into the present moment.

In recent explorations, their mātauranga Māori informed practice of twisting taura tī kōuka (cabbage tree fibre rope) attempts to bind the sacred transgender experience with the transformative powers of taniwha and tipua - spiritual beings from pūrakau Māori that can change gender and form.

Louie’s mahi toi reinforces that queerness is an intrinsic quality of any natural and cultural system. Their work has been presented with: Oberhausen Short Film Festival (Germany), Toi Matarau (Ōtaki), Enjoy (Pōneke), Blue Oyster (Ōtepoti), CIRCUIT (Pōneke, Ōtatutahi, Germany), Artspace Aotearoa (Tāmaki Makaurau), Shared Lines (Kaikōura, Japan, Pōneke), Critical Costume Conference (Norway), Performance Art Week Aotearoa (Pōneke), Greenhouse Berlin (Germany). Louie works primarily as an artist and part-time as Assistant Curator at Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery in Pōneke. They are based on the Kāpiti coast.

Event Info