Tauranga Art Gallery’s atrium has been transformed into a vibrant, psychedelic world dominated by an epic, fire-breathing taniwha by Te Whanganui-a-Tara-based Dream Girls Art Collective. All renowned street artists in their own right, this recently-founded collective includes artists Miriama Grace- Smith, Xoë Hall and GinaKiel. They collectively base their work around the concept of the ‘exquisite
kaitiaki’ (or guardian) recalling the Surrealist concept of the exquisite corpse, in which words or images are collectively assembled. Similarly, each Dream Girl takes the lead on an element of their mural-basedcompositions – in the Gallery this happens wall by wall, allowing them to simultaneously showcase their distinctive individual styles as well as their collective, pop-pocalyptic vision.
The Dream Girls’ kaupapa centres around making space to shine and be yourself completely. Appearing in car parks, lifts, shop windows and on construction hoardings, their mahi in public space is strategic; giving marginalised narratives a public face and asserting the work of female artists in the traditionally male-dominated street art scene. They make merchandise too – posters, shirts, hoodies – ensuring their work is accessible to a broad audience while also financially supplementing their practice.
POP-POCALYPSE brings their work into a public gallery for the first time. The work the Dream Girls have developed for Tauranga Art Gallery is a bold continuation of their distinctive world, in which legends and idols collide. Xoë Hall describes this new commission as a‘cultural seizure’.
Together, the Dream Girls use the language and strategies of street art to traverse contexts within and outside of the art world, all the while celebrating the strength of mana wahine and Te Ao Maori.