Before the arrival of humans in Aotearoa, Tauranga Moana was filled with salt marshes, eelgrass beds, and large, freshwater wetlands. Prior to the arrival of Pākehā, the Te Papa peninsula was also a favoured site for tangata whenua due to the thriving moana, abundance of kaimoana, and the strategic sites of the cliffs overlooking the harbour. Nowadays, we have a booming port and are known worldwide for our stunning beaches. For generations, the natural beauty of the waterscapes around Tauranga Moana have inspired artists.
Drawing on artworks from three of Tauranga’s largest public collections; the Tauranga Art Gallery Collection, Tauranga City Libraries Archives, and the Civic Art Collection, as well as selected works by prominent local contemporary artists, Tauranga Moana Waterscapes 1800s - Present showcases an evolution of artistic interpretations. Each artwork reveals how the same subject can inspire diverse expressions; from references to the Takitimu waka to vistas that the artist simply wishes to preserve. This exhibition presents the beauty, variety and importance of the estuaries, beaches, harbours, and sea that make up Tauranga Moana.
Curated by Ellie Smith
I mua i te tangata ki Aotearoa, he kūkūwai te rahinga o Tauranga Moana, he nana, he kōreporepo wai tī, rahi rawa hoki. I mua I te taenga mai a Pākehā, i nōhia nuitia te kūmore o Te Papa e te tangata whenua nā te mākuru o te moana, te mahi a te mātaitai me te tirohanga matua mai i ngā paritahataha ki waho ki te moana. I ēnei rā, he wāpu whai rawa tō tātou, ā, he takutai ātanga, e rongonui ana huri i te ao. E hia nei ngā rēanga, kua whakaaweawetia ngā ringa toi e ngā papa wai o Tauranga Moana.
He mea tiki mai i ngā kohikohinga tūmatanui e toru o Tauranga; ko te Tauranga Art Gallery Collection, ko Tauranga City Archives me te Civic Art Collection me ētahi atu mahinga toi nā ētahi ringa toi o te takiwā nei, e whakatairanga ana a Tauranga Moana Waterscapes 1800s – Present i te kunenga o ngā whakamāoritanga toi. Ka hura ia mahinga toi i ngā whakaaweawetanga huhua; mai i a Tākitimu waka ki ngā tirohanga i hiahiatia ai kia whakaukahia. Ka whakaari atu tēnei whakaaturanga i te rerehua, i te huhua me te hirahira o ngā tāhuna, o te takutai, o te moana me ngā wai nui e whakatinana ana i a Tauranga Moana.
Nā Ellie Smith i whakarite
Image: Kelcy Taratoa, Painted History... not that long ago (detail), 2017.