The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery captures occasional exhibitions to offer virtual tours.
Brett Graham's monumental exhibition Tai Moana Tai Tangata inhabited the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery from December 2020 to May 2021.
The solo exhibition by Graham challenged narratives surrounding the New Zealand Wars, centred on the experiences and histories of Taranaki and Tainui Māori.
Engaging the architecture of colonial frontier warfare and the language of war memorials in times of peace, Tai Moana Tai Tangata occupied the entire Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Three panoramic landscape films establish the geography of the exhibition, from Manukau in the north to Ohawe in the south, and site five monumental sculptures within this territory.
Visitors were welcomed in, the art requiring them to examine their own position in relation to the stories the artworks told.
This first edition of the virtual tour is created for education audiences. The original English wall texts have been adapted and extended for younger readers and are designed to be shared alongside the extra reference material and focus questions in classroom settings.
The te reo Māori wall texts are written and spoken by Te Ingo Ngaia (Manukorihi, Ngāti Tairi, Ngā Mahanga, Ngāti Manuhiakai, Waikato-Maniapoto,Te Arawa me Ngāti Porou hoki ), Māori language teacher at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and translator.
The voice of Wharehoka Wano (Taranaki, Te Atiawa and Ngāti Awa) opens the virtual tour with a karakia.
Our gratitude goes to Wharehoka Wano and Te Ingo Ngaia for helping to bring this monumental exhibition to life in the digital space.
I am not aware of another exhibition which has managed to take the viewers into the time and space of that history in a manner as emotionally affecting and critically charged as Graham's at the Govett-Brewster. Peter Brunt writing in Art New Zealand