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Tiki Tour


Rose Gardens Water Street PO BOX 1024 Whangarei TIKI TOUR

Whangarei Art Museum presents…

Faith McManus, Hei
Tiki Hey Kiwi, 2001, Monoblock Print Private Collection
Click to enlarge

Faith McManus, Hei Tiki Hey Kiwi, 2001, Monoblock Print Private Collection


16th October – 10th December 2006
Monday 16th October 2006 @ 5.00pm

Tiki Tour: The iconic imagery of koru and the hei tiki , along with the kiwi, the silver fern and the Southern Cross, have come to symbolically represent our world in Aotearoa/New Zealand to the wider world. They have also been surrounded by controversy, issues of cultural appropriation/ assimilation and concerted ‘brand development’ programs since the 1980’s.

Note the changing ways in which our national carrier has dealt with this iconography – remember the plastic tiki handed out on TEAL flights and the new Gordon Walters inspired koru design, and the way the airline has changed towards a new socially responsible role in cultural awareness: a koru designed carpet designed for Air New Zealand was withdrawn after iwi sensibilities were offended by this sacred motif being trampled underfoot.

This exhibition discusses and dissects some of these issues and the way in which contemporary artists – and there are some of the ‘hottest’ artists in the country in this show – have added new context to this debate, having recolonised the koru and tiki and returned spiritual reverence, and humour to this, the most contested art historical debate in art circles, over the past decade.

Tiki Tour continues this debate, following the lead of several past exhibitions held around the country including Pataka’s exhibitions Hei Tiki , the koro club and Koru and Kowhaiwhai curated by Helen Kedgley and the Auckland Art Gallery exhibition Te Hei Tiki curated by Ngahiraka Mason and Jane Davidson.

There is some magnificent and truly venerable hei tiki in this exhibition on loan from the Whanganui Regional Museum, Puke Ariki Museum and the Fraser Collection at the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park, including a homecoming journey for an historically important Nga Puhi hei tiki.

Juxtaposed with the historic Hei Tiki are contemporary artworks; interpretations by artists such as Dennis Knight Turner, Guy Ngan, Dick Frizzell, Cliff Whiting, Micheal Parekowhai, Sam Broad, Kura Te Waru Rewiri, Tracy Tawhiao, Hemi Macgregor, Matt Couper, Wi Taepa, Julie Kipa, Aimee Ratana, Jon Tootill and from our Northland artists: Faith McManus, Wayne Youle, Laurence Berry, Shona Firman, Will Ngakuru, and Theresa Reihana, amongst others.

TIKI TOUR exhibits artworks in many different media from Pounamu to plastic and includes historic Hei tiki, contemporary artworks, paintings (both oil, acrylic and watercolours), photography, sculpture, glass works, installations, jewellery, contemporary Dilante rugs, a Gordon Walter’s poster and New Zealand Kitsch items such as a 20th century postcard and apron from the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park Collection to Air New Zealand memorabilia on loan from MOTAT.

Organisation that have contributed to this exhibition are: Burning Issues; City Gallery Wellington; Dilante Rugs and Jane Sanders- Art Agent; Ferner Gallery; Gow Langsford Gallery; McNamara Gallery; Milford Gallery; Museum of Transport and Technology; Oedipus Rex Gallery; Pataka Museum of Arts and Heritage ; Puke Ariki Museum; Sarjeant Gallery; Te Wake Collection – The Northern Advocate; Tinakori Gallery; Whanganui Regional Museum and the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park.

The exhibition is supported by a colour poster and will be available to view online at


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