National | Exhibition

Tēnei Ao Tūroa: Exhibition exploring sites with 'loaded histories' opening in Wellington

Photo credit / Natalie Robertson

A photographic exhibition exploring particular sites that have "loaded histories" opens in Wellington this weekend.

The Tēnei Ao Tūroa – This Enduring World exhibition features photographic artists Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou), Mark Adams and Chris Corson-Scott.

Their artworks feature large-scale colour and black and white images that "explore particular sites that have loaded histories that speak of human encounter and occupation and their formational and fraught effects,” says Christina Barton, curator at Victoria Univerity, Wellington's Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery, where the exhibition will open this Saturday.

"A key feature of this presentation is the inclusion of historical imagery and objects to contextualise the artists’ images. This produces a rich cultural base for appreciating the visual and material legacies within which their works are embedded."

Robertson's work is drawn from the exhibition Tātara E Maru Ana – The Sacred Rain Cape of Waiapu, first presented at Tairāwhiti Museum in Gisborne. Consisting of large-scale hanging photographic banners, colour and black and white photographs, and enlargements of historical imagery, this exhibition offers, in the artist's words, "a record of an ancestral tīpuna landscape as it is today."

Natalie Robertson, A Red Tipped Dawn – Pōhautea at Waiapu Ngutu Awa (7th August 2020).  Photo / Supplied
Natalie Robertson, Te Mimi o Te Huinga puna wai and Kahikatea trees, Tikapa-a-Hinekopeka I.

Adams' photographs were first shown in Hinemihi: Te Hokinga – The Return and consist of large-scale colour and black and white photographs he took in 2000 of the whare carved by the Ngāti Tarawhai master-carvers Tene Waitere and Wero Tāroi located on the grounds of Clandon Park in Surrey, England.

His images are accompanied by historical photographs of Hinemihi in its original site at Te Wairoa before and after the Tarawera eruption (1886), together with two carvings by Waitere and Tāroi.

Mark Adams, 13.11.2000. Hinemihi. Clandon Park. Surrey, England, 2000.  Photo / Supplied

Chris Corson-Scott's photographs take an archaeological interest in capturing the remnants of colonial and modern industry, registering the impact of industrial and urban development

Chris Corson-Scott, A Poet Writing before the Falls and Freezing Work, Mataura, 2016.  Photo / Supplied

The exhibition opens this Saturday at Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery, Wellington and runs until 26 June.