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Artist Interviews


These video interviews provide insight into some of Tauranga Art Gallery artists and their works.

Peata Larkin & Alexis Neal: Whaka-aho

"I didn’t have the love, support and Māoritanga to uplift me as a child, teenager or young adult. It wasn’t until I had my daughter when I was 25 years old that I felt this real urge and courage to learn more about my identity and whakapapa so I knew who I was for her and my welfare. I needed to connect many dots to feel whole. Once I started asking questions I realised the depth of identity loss felt by all my whānau and the generational trauma experienced...Having the gift of being creative was my way of working through this trauma and finding ways to express myself and find the path back to my tīpuna."


Read the full interview here >

Ayesha Green: Folk Nationalism

What are the stories we tell from our collective past and how do they come to inform the lives we live in Aotearoa today? Are our histories accurate? These are some of the questions posed by Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist Ayesha Green (Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) in this significant new body of paintings, Folk Nationalism

Ayesha Green is the 2021 recipient of the Rydal Art Prize – a major contemporary painting prize administered by Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga in collaboration with Seeds Trust. Folk Nationalism is a key outcome of the Prize.


View the interview with Ayesha here >

Maraea Timutimu: He kāwai whenua He kāwai whakapapa

Maraea Timutimu's exhibition, He kāwai whenua He kāwai whakapapa addresses the centrality of whenua within mātauranga Māori and the ways it can connect us to our stories, histories, identities and whakapapa. For her exhibition at Tauranga Art Gallery, Timutimu produced a suite of large-scale colour photographs that are a play on portraiture; stones and rocks are collected from the waterways of her maternal and paternal kāinga at Matapihi, Tauranga Moana, and Rūātoki, Eastern Bay of Plenty. They are composed into totemic forms that poetically stand in for people and places that are important to the artist. Her work provides a unique insight into the connectedness of whenua and whakapapa through a Māori lens. 

Click here to view the interview >

Andrew Beck: Soft Filter

Influences as disparate as sci-fi movie The Matrix, the work of Surrealist artist Jean Cocteau and the musical genre Vaporwave are buried deep in the work of Te Whanganui-a-Tara-based artist Andrew Beck. Renowned for his hard-edged abstractions, his work, like his interests, are an amalgamation of diverse media. Beck combines photography, painting, sculpture and installation in a manner that divorces each element from its original context, encouraging slippage from one form to the next. 

In this video Andrew takes us around his studio and talks about his new atrium commission for Tauranga Art Gallery.

View the video interview with Andrew Beck here.

Christina Pataialii in conversation with Anthony Byrt


Wellington-based artist Christina Pataialii was the 2019 recipient of the Rydal Art Prize - a major contemporary painting prize administered by the Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga. The outcome of the prize was the exhibition Christina Pataialii: Proximity and Distance, a large-scale installation conceived for the Gallery's atrium that evidences key developments in Pataialii’s practice over the past year.
In this conversation, the artist discusses her substantial new body of work, her embrace of both ‘fine art’ materials and those related to the trades and her forthcoming inclusion in the fifth New Museum Triennial in New York. 

The Rydal Art Prize is generously sponsored by Seeds Trust.

View the conversation here >

Israel Randell

“...Te Korekore (the void) is the realm between non- being and being: that is, the realm of potential being... here the seed-stuff of the universe and all created things gestate. It is the womb from which all things proceed...”
-Maori Marsden

This artist has created a surprising, edgy work that grounds us deep down into the bones of this land. I enjoy the subtle sound element of the work which I read as screaming into the void. Entering an installation piece into an open competition is a bold move, the striking visual impact of Te Korekore and its strong conceptual foundations rooted in mātauranga Māori has resulted in a very moving experience for the audience.
Miles Art Award 2020 Judge Sarah Hudson

View Video: Interview with Israel Randell

JK Russ


Based in Las Vegas since 2010, Russ has developed large-scale collage installations where visitors contribute to the completed work. Represented by PAULNACHE in New Zealand, her collage work has been shown at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, NV, the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art in Las Vegas, NV and the Torrance Art Museum in California.

Hear Tauranga Art Gallery interview JK Russ, where she talks about her artistic process and shows us around her studio.

View Video: Interview with JK RUSS

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