Kia ora, welcome to Toi Art Level 5. Kō Moana Ete tōku ingoa (I’m Moana Ete). I’ll be your guide as we explore these galleries. We’re beginning here in front of Ngā Tai Whakarongorua, the portrait wall.
When I look across the pictures here, I see faces from long ago: ancestors and tīpuna, Māori and Pākehā, young and old. Some picture mana whenua, people of this land. Others show people who came here in search of a place they could call home.
For some, it was intimately connected to whakapapa (ancestral ties). And for others, it was a picturesque landscape to admire.
As a Moana Pacific woman in the 21st century, I’m thinking a lot about my own relationship to the natural world, and how these complicated legacies affect us all today.
On our journey through these galleries, we’ll hear from curators, artists, and experts, along with voices from the past and some unexpected characters.
Alright, enough scene setting – let’s explore the galleries. Begin at the gallery to your right: Hiahia Whenua | Landscape and Desire.