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Tauranga Embraces Innovation With First-of-its-kind Augmented Sculpture Trail

A groundbreaking new exhibition is set to immerse the Bay of Plenty in the magic of Matariki. Te Tauranga Toi presents the matARiki Sculpture Trail, launching on the 10th of June and running until the 30th of June. It promises a unique and interactive experience for families and art enthusiasts alike.

This innovative exhibition, curated by Kereama Taepa and the first of its kind in Aotearoa, uses augmented reality (AR) technology to breathe life into digital artworks by renowned New Zealand artists. With the theme of Matariki – specifically focusing on the twin stars Waitī (fresh water) and Waitā (salt water) – the trail invites visitors to embark on a journey through augmented reality sculptures along The Strand Reserve in Tauranga and at Te Papa o ngā Manu Porotakataka, Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui.

Featuring seven Māori artists from around Aotearoa. Kereama Taepa, Jared Wikeepa, Chris Bailey, Reweti Arapere, Rangituhia Hollis, River Jayden and Julie Paama-Pengelly.

“This first of its kind exhibition event for Aotearoa provides an opportunity for our digital artists to showcase their mahi in a way that is more in tune with their medium as it uses digital technology to present their digital artwork. Overseas there are a multitude of opportunities like this for digital artists however, here in Aotearoa they are non-existent…. so it’s really about opening up that space and creating that opportunity… and creating that exposure for our digital artists that are actually quite accomplished in this space” states Kereama Taepa - exhibition creator and curator.

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Simply scan QR codes with your smart device, and watch as digital artworks come to life before your eyes. Interact with the sculptures, learn about their meaning and the stories behind them, and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of contemporary Māori art.

The matARiki Sculpture Trail is a collaborative effort supported by generous sponsors, including Te Tauranga Toi, Toi Hourua, Creative Communities Scheme - Tauranga City Council and Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust - a local arts organization dedicated to nurturing artistic talent in Tauranga Moana.

“Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust is focused on supporting art and artists in Tauranga Moana - and as we enter into the digital arena with our newly formed online art gallery Te Tauranga Toi - it only made sense that we support a digital exhibition event such as this. Technology continues to have a huge impact on our lives - so it’s important that we explore these technologies and how we might engage with them - especially as Māori” says Julie Paama-Pengelly - board chair Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust.

Key details:

Exhibition dates: 10th June - 30th June 2024

Location: The Strand Reserve, Tauranga CBD and Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka, Mt Maunganui.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Instagram: @matARikiSculptureTrail

Don't miss this groundbreaking opportunity to experience Matariki in a whole new way! Join the matARiki Sculpture Trail and discover the magic of augmented reality art.

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