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42-44 Devonport Road, Tauranga

Mega world

The Expansive Universe of Illustration

23 February – 7 July 2019

The next major international exhibition at Tauranga Art Gallery explores the expansive universe of illustration. Aptly named, Mega World, the show transports you to an unknown landscape populated by strange creatures and unlikely heroes.

Shown across all five exhibition spaces, the Gallery’s signature show gives life to contemporary illustration in its many forms. From comics and graphic novels to underground illustration, animation and contemporary art.

Mega Events at Tauranga Art Gallery

To celebrate the opening of Mega World, the Tauranga Art Gallery is hosting a range of events at the Gallery, many of them free to attend!


Curator Talk: Craig McClure with Keeli McCarthy
Craig McClure will discuss the new Anti-heroes exhibition with US-based, Fantagraphic designer Keeli McCarthy.

Entry by donation.


Artist Talk: Gary Baseman
LA-based pervasive artist Gary Baseman will be at the Gallery to discuss his first NZ exhibition, Imaginary Friends. Poster signing to follow talk!

Entry by donation.


Art Studio: Children’s Workshop with Gary Baseman
10am & 1pm
Your child will create their own illustration of an ‘imaginary friend’ with artist Gary Baseman

Only $20 per child, book at


Art Studio: Adult Workshop with Gary Baseman 
Practice illustration and character development with Gary Baseman, for ages 15+.

Only $40 per person, book at


Mega Easter Family Fun Day
10am - 3pm
Bring along the whole family for some Mega Easter fun. Enjoy creation stations, face painting, an Easter hunt and more great fun set against the backdrop of Mega World.
Entry: $5 per family, gold coin for face painting


Artist Talk: Dash Shaw
Hear from Dash Shaw, creator of film animation My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, which is currently showing at Tauranga Art Gallery.

Entry by donation.

Tom Scott & Mardo El-Noor, Ocean, 2016

In late February, the first exhibition, Anti-heroes opens. Curated by Craig McClure, the group exhibition features cartoonists from the United States, Canada and New Zealand who resist the archetypical superhero genre of comic books to tell real human stories.

In March, Ahsin Ahsin takes over the atrium, applying his vibrant, graphic, neon work directly onto the walls. Influenced by 80s & 90s sci-fi and pop culture, his work features transformer-style robots and alien invasions.

A Mega World highlight is contemporary artist Gary Baseman, whose exhibition, Imaginary Friends showcases dozens of his dynamic characters. Shifting from a successful career in editorial illustration that started in the 1980s, Baseman started to create his own cast of characters in the 1990s that represent aspects of the human condition. The characters exist as drawings, paintings, toys, fashion, or appear in photographs and video. Demonstrating Baseman’s “pervasive art” that crosses media and disciplines, Imaginary Friends shows his characters manifested in multiple ways, allowing viewers to engage personally and experientially, connecting the characters’ stories with their own.

Natasha Cousens, The Beauty, 2014

Meticulously created using more than 10,000 separate hand-carved woodcuts, Sun Xun’s 3D video animation titled Time Spy, blends this ancient analogue process with digital animation, bringing to life a surreal narrative that is watched with 3D glasses.

In April, Tauranga artist Natasha Cousens’ fantastical creatures will peer, creep and emerge from the Gallery walls. Cousens' surreal sculptural work is predominantly clay and fibreglass, bringing to life her illustrative designs in a 3-dimensional form.

Running from February 23 to July 7, Mega World at Tauranga Art Gallery will unlock your imagination, give form to the intangible and recapture childhood fantasies.


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Principal Exhibition Partner:

Cultural Partner: US Embassy
Project Partners: TECT, Friends of Tauranga Art Gallery, Kathleen Kirkby Trust, Area Design, The Flooring Room
Contemporary Corporate Partners: The Amazing Travelling Photobooth, Spongedrop Cakery


Top Image: Gary Baseman, Les Fauves

Principal Funder

Annual Strategic Partners