When we were developing the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, I unconsciously developed a secret soundtrack – a mix-tape, if you like – of music that came to mind as I thought about the various works in the show. It was Jason Greig who, quite unknowingly, got me started on this track.
Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and I have just described a new species of fern, Lastreopsis kermadecensis. It only occurs on Raoul Island, which is the largest island in the Kermadec Islands group. Hence, the second part of the new species name! The Kermadec Islands are the most northern
In an effort to bolster our ability to identify some of New Zealand’s most widespread and commonly cultivated trees, Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany and I attended a workshop for identifying Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Pinus species this month. The workshop was presented by Chris Ecroyd, a long standing member of
A highlight of our Fijian expedition was a trip to Kadavu, a medium-sized island south of Viti Levu. Kadavu is a priority for Conservation International. Four species of bird occur there and nowhere else in the world. However, little is known of Kadavu’s bryophytes, lichens, and ferns, and it was our
I’m lucky to have escaped the end of the New Zealand winter with a work trip to Fiji. This was as part of a Conservation International-funded, international expedition. The trip was led by Matt von Konrat of Chicago’s Field Museum, with local logistics coordinated by Marika Tuiwawa and Alivereti Naikatini
This coming Saturday, 6 August 2011 is the opening of the combined Oceania exhibition between Te Papa and Wellington City Gallery. Te Papa’s exhibition titled Early Encounters will showcase a range of taonga and objects from History, Maori, Pacific Cultures, Art and Natural Environment collections. The three month long show
The Kermadec Islands’ are the most isolated piece of rock that New Zealand has, some 1,000km North of Tauranga, right in the middle of very deep oceans. The isolation, recent geological origin and predominantly subtropical marine flora and fauna make them unique both nationally and internationally. I often imagine the
2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural
Since 2009, Roger Rasmussen, alongside his role as a Te Papa host, has vounteered to re-house, measure and photograph a collection of to’i ma’a (stone adze) from Sāmoa which were gifted to the museum by Rhys Richards in 1991. Because of Roger’s important work, the images of the collection are now
This striking work Look Within 2 (2007) by Papua New Guinea artist Daniel Waswas is the latest addition to Te Papa’s collection of contemporary Pacific artworks. It depicts four images of the same person, conveying a message of self reflection and addressing the idea of identity from within one’s own
In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intact
There were whoops of delight here on the Wellington waterfront as our landmark art collections publication Art at Te Papa was nominated in the illustrated non-fiction category of the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Auckland on Friday 27 August 2010.
In 2008, I co-curated a small show in our Illot Gallery about Samoan-born graphic designer Joseph Churchward, who has hand-crafted about 570 fonts to date. Last year, Joseph received the John Britten Award, from the Designers Institute of New Zealand, for outstanding leadership, vision and achievement in the field of type
I am helping to organise the 2009 John Child Bryophyte Workshop. Bryophytes comprise mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. The Workshop also covers lichens, and it provides a great opportunity to learn more about these fascinating plants. Novices are welcome, with guidance provided for beginners. The workshop will be based at Pukeora Estate,