<p><strong>Frank Wright and Walter Wright</strong>, <em>The Canoe Builders</em>, 1889/1915, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr C J Parr, 1915.</p>

Frank Wright and Walter Wright, The Canoe Builders, 1889/1915, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr C J Parr, 1915.

A new exhibition opening at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on Saturday 20 April explores the art of Aotearoa New Zealand, locating it within Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the wider Pacific region. 

Comprised of works from the Gallery’s extensive New Zealand art collection, Taimoana | Coastlines: Art in Aotearoa takes the theme of the coast to explore multiple perspectives on New Zealand art. 

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Gallery Director, Kirsten Lacy says, “As Winter approaches, the Gallery's programme is proudly focused on the art and artists of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific in a suite of new exhibitions opening across all floors of the building. The first to open is an entirely new collection exhibition on the ground floor titled Taimoana | Coastlines.” 

“This new presentation from the Gallery’s collection showcases major holdings of historical, modern and contemporary New Zealand art.”   

Taimoana | Coastlines explores our place in the world, confronting local histories and global issues from a distinctly New Zealand perspective." 

“We’re delighted all visitors can now enjoy a new experience of the Gallery’s treasured collection of New Zealand art and important stories and culture from the nation,” says Lacy.  

The exhibition, which includes art from the 18th century to today, has been curated by Dr Sarah Farrar, Nathan Pōhio, Dr Jane Davidson-Ladd and Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua.  

Dr Farrar, the Gallery’s Head of Curatorial and Learning points out: “The coast is central to the way of life of many in Aotearoa New Zealand and it has been throughout our entire history.”  

“It is integral to te ao Māori and has many purposes, from sustenance and employment, a route for travel, source of recreation and relaxation, inspiration, and conflict. More recently, it has also been impacted by the changing climate with sea-level rise and coastal erosion,” says Dr Farrar.   

The artworks in the exhibition span time with works by contemporary artists brought into conversation with modern and historical New Zealand art.  

<p><strong>Natalie Robertson</strong>, <em>A Red-Tipped Dawn - Pōhautea at Waiapu Ngutu Awa (7th August 2020)</em>. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2023.</p>

Natalie Robertson, A Red-Tipped Dawn - Pōhautea at Waiapu Ngutu Awa (7th August 2020). Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2023.

Works from the collection on display from 20 April include: 

  • Te Ika a Maui, 1970, by Fred Graham – a painting depicting the pūrākau of Māui fishing up the North Island. 
  • Pacific Air Journey, a large segment of the mural by Pat Hanly originally commissioned for Auckland Airport’s departure lounge in 1977, on public display again for the first time. 
  • Fresh Eke (Eke Nui and Babies), 2003-04, a multicoloured crocheted octopus with more than 20 babies, by Ani O’Neill.  
  • Watercolours by Reverend John Kinder documenting his travels along New Zealand’s coastline in the 1850s-70s. 
  • Over seven meters in length, a newly acquired sculpture by Chris Charteris, Te Ma (Fish Trap), 2014, comprises over 8000 pairs of clam shells collected from Coromandel Peninsula to reference traditional i-Kiribati fish traps.  
  • A tiny oil painting by CF Goldie showing a kuia telling the story of the arrival of the Arawa canoe to her mokopuna. 
  • Wild Waves, an oil on cardboard painting by A. Lois White, of three nude women frolicking in the sea, likely painted in 1943 during the Second World War. 
  • Frederick Stack’s View of Auckland Harbour, New Zealand taken during the Regatta of January (1862), which documents the race of waka taua (war canoes) during the Anniversary Day regatta. 

Artists featured in the exhibition: 

Rita Angus, George Butler, Chris Charteris, Matthew Clayton, Chris Corson-Scott, Edward Friström, Pat Hanly, Charles F Goldie, Fred Graham, Richard Killeen, Rangi Kipa, John Kinder, Ian Macdonald, Eileen Mayo, Ani O’Neill, James Nairn, Sydney Parkinson, Natalie Robertson, Peter Robinson, Louis Auguste de Sainson, Sriwhana Spong, Frederick Stack, Paul Tangata, Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Raukura Turei, Kennett Watkins, Frank and Walter Wright, and A. Lois White. 

The exhibition will open in stages over the next few months with additional works and artists going on display as the spaces become available as part of the Gallery’s Heritage Restoration Project: Kia Whakahou, Kia Whakaora

Exhibition details: 
Taimoana | Coastlines: Art in Aotearoa 


Saturday 20 April 2024–mid 2026 

10am–5pm daily 

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki 
Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets 
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland