Tape Art: Day One… it begins!


It’s a sunny Thursday with lots of people popping past the front façade of Te Papa. What better conditions in which to transform the exterior walls of the national museum into a piece of impromptu social art. Tape artist Erica Duthie and her partner Struan Ashby will spend the next four days constructing images out of tape on the front walls of Te Papa. Once finished, the art will cover the two walls that create the boundary for the front entrance and forecourt (opposite the Circa Theatre).

Erica’s specialty is portraits of people – and that means everyone’s invited to come down and take a look… and even join in the fun. Here you can see Erica with one of her first portrait subjects Henriette. Both Erica and Struan say having people involved is a great thing, and that children will definitely be allowed to touch, in fact the pair will see people touching the tape and sticking it back up where it peels off as a matter of crucial maintenance.

“Oh, you’ve got to catch the weather here” says Erica. The project has actually begun a day early because of forecasted rain on Sunday. In previous media articles, she’s told reporters that she’s going to have to contend with Wellington’s famous wind, in one of the capitals windiest months.

We’ll be following the tape art as it goes up and then as it comes down in a big fun public tear-the-tape-off deinstallation on Sunday.

Where: Front walls of Te Papa (near the main entrance)
When: Thursday to Saturday
Why: Festival of Carnivale
Who: you… pop on down have a look, and see if you can get your portrait up there.

Erica Duthie, with one of her first portrait subjects, Henriette


3 Responses

  1. tepapacomms

    Hi Mike and Adele

    thanks to you both for your feedback, and the good thing is that whether or not you agree, the big thing is that you’re able to have your say… and cheers to you both.

  2. Mikey

    Taping Up Te Papa, if I were to use one word – SH@T!!!!! How dare you call this kind of thing anything but SH@T!! Message to artists (no sorry con-artists) – learn how to use an easel and paints. The money wasted on this rubbish could have and should have been used on, oh i dont know – Canteen, Under privalliged kids.

    Or failing that if Te Papa aren’t feeling charitable for just causes a free sausage sizzle for anyone passing by on the day. I am fuming.

    Mike Bird

  3. adele pentony-graham

    nice to see something different.. trust there will some birds added, the feathered variety, or Happy Feet to remember him by! A plane, a hot air balloon, will all add interest and a Ferry…two awkward to get down from lovely warm Wairarapa, so will make do with this site thanks, and hope the media.. TV get in on the act!


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