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Israel Randell explains the concept behind her mahi and how it encourages the viewer to look into their past.

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Ahsin Ahsin talks about reconnecting with his fellow artists and what people might take away from his work and the exhibition.

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Follow Iata this week as he shares the visual language of hiapo through his incredible process of creating tatatau Niue during his Fale-ship residency!

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First Fridays Aug 2020

Join us for an evening of inter-generational talanoa and performance featuring Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Naawie Tutugoro, Luc Tutugoro and Diggy Dupé hosted by Teokotai Paitai

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Talitali fiefia! Introducing the mother and daughter duo Tui Emma Gillies and Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows and their Fale-ship experience!

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Tautai Director Courtney Sina Meredith and other UoA Graduates tell us how they couldn’t have got their skills and careers with any other degree. – Re: News

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Opening Night Photo Gallery

Tautai Gallery Opening Night 2020

Check out the Opening Night photo gallery’s here!

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Tautai Fale-ships

We are excited to launch the highly anticipated TAUTAI FALE-SHIP Home Residency digital series!

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From kete and hiapo to MS Paint and neo-pop crocodiles, Tautai Gallery celebrates Pacific art in all its forms. – The Spinoff

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Gallery Tour with John Campbell

Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has reopened as a space where people can not only see art but can do art.
Breakfast got a sneak peek at how it’s looking.

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Tautai Gallery is a niu space with a rich legacy right in the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau. It’s opening was truly a night to remember!

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Hear more about our exhibition Moana Legacy from curator and artist Cora-Allan Wickliffe 

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Tautai founding patron Fatu Feu’u speaks about the growth of the Pacific arts sector

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Moana Legacy

Exhibition open till Sept 18th 2020. Open Mon–Fri, 11am – 4pm

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Courtney Sina Meredith Viva 2020

Courtney Sina Meredith and Janet Lilo at home with VIVA

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Tautai HQ is now open! Office hours are 9am–5:30pm, Mon–Fri

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Our activation Postcards Unlocked showcased 40 artists over 40 days during Aotearoa’s lockdown.

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About Tautai

Tautai Logo Black 2020

Tautai is Aotearoa’s leading Pacific arts organisation with a multidisciplinary focus

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Tautai Headquarters:  Tautai will reopen its doors on July 3 to a beautiful expanded space of over 500 square metres

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Artist Spotlight: Israel Randell

Moana Legacy artist Israel Randell explains the concept behind her mahi and how it encourages the viewer to look into their past


“There is no shortage of inspiration in Aotearoa…being surrounded by it is quite a fertile space for me.”

– Israel Randell

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>

Click here for more Israel!

For further information please email us

Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artist Spotlight: Ahsin Ahsin

Moana Legacy artist Ahsin Ahsin talks about reconnecting with his fellow artists and what people might take away from his work and the exhibition.

“… it’s quite bold, it’s a bit of a statement, it’s in your face…”

– Ahsin Ahsin

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>

Click here for more Ahsin!

For more information please email us

tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

FALE-SHIP: Iata Peautolu

Iata Peautolu Tautai Faleship

Fakaalofa lahi atu! Introducing Niuean Māori artist Iata Peautolu!

Niuean/Maori
Tauranga, Aotearoa
@fekaiata | Iata Peautolu


Born and raised in Hamilton, Iata is a multidisciplinary artist who is known for his tamoko and tatatau practice. Inspired by his Maori and Niuean lineage his exhibition ‘Son of A Savage’ featured a combination of imagery from both connections, and also highlighted his skills as an illustrator and painter. The iconography in his work investigates migration and navigation practices from the Pacific, which he uses to develop his visual narratives within his work.
Iata takes pride in his dual heritage which is reflected within his work from tatatau, painting, illustration to graphic design. He draws his creativity from his urban upbringing in Hamilton and the art culture that continues to evolve in this modern world. Iata is a contemporary Polynesian artist whose ambition is to showcase the beauty, strength, dignity and mana of his people through his lens.


Follow Iata this week as he shares the visual language of hiapo through his incredible process of creating tatatau Niue during his Fale-ship residency.


A sneak peek into Iata’s creative process and driving force behind his dedication to Niue tatatau!

Tune in as Iata shares his creative workspace and the process of marking his client with a Hiapo inspired tatatau Niuean sleeve

“…my mahi, it really is a contemporary take on our beautiful hiapo that is a real taonga, a real treasure for us as Niueans…”

– Iata Peautolu

Q+A Talanoa with Iata and INF

So cool to see Pacific creatives inspiring each other!! Watch as INF and Iata connect over the emotional reward of sharing art, being Niuean and Yohji Yamamoto!

Q+A Talanoa facilitated by:
Amon ‘INF’ Tyson| @infmusic | @infmusicnz
Artist, Director, Creative. 1 of 5 members of SWIDT
Songwriter/Producer – SWIDT
Samoan/Niuean
312 Onehunga, Aotearoa
swidt.co.nz

View all the FALE-SHIPS here

For more information please email us
#Tautai4lyfe

First Fridays August 2020

FIRST FRIDAYS IS BACK!

Join us for an evening of inter-generational talanoa and performance.

Featuring Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Naawie Tutugoro, Luc Tutugoro and Diggy Dupé.

Hosted by Teokotai Paitai


Sneak a peak at our incredible line-up for the evening!

Teokotai Paitai First Fridays Aug 2020

Teokotai Paitai (MC)
Arts Pasifika Lover | @taimeans1

Ta’i is 3 cups Cook Islands, a tablespoon Samoan and a shot of fine Scotch.
Ta’i is born, raised, schooled, and still living in Ponsonby where his family arrived in the early 1950s.
Ta’i is situated within Arts Pasifika here in Aotearoa. His background is in Performing Arts and he has woven a fine mat that embodies working alongside and for, many of his favourite artists and arts practitioners, across most genres.
Tai is 53 years old, 6ft of fabulous Dad body and is the A.G.E in savage

Cora-Allan Wickliffe
Multi-disciplinary artist | @coraallan.wickliffe

Cora-Allan Wickliffe is a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niue descent, originally from Waitakere. In recent years her practice has focused on her efforts to revive the art form of Hiapo, prior to this she completed her Masters in Visual Art and Design in Performance from AUT (2013), also receiving a AUT Postgraduate Deans award for her research. Her work is a part of major collections including The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Wallace Arts Trust. 

Naawie Tutugoro
Multi-dsciplinary artist | @astonishing_coco_puff

Born to a Kanak father and Anglo-Argentinian/European mother, Naawie Tutugoro is a Tāmaki Makaurau-born multi-disciplinary artist. Her practice comprises site-specific works that illuminate negotiations of place and space specific to the urban Pasifika experience. Tutugoro is currently living on Waiheke island, and has exhibited throughout Tāmaki Makaurau.

Her father Luc Tutugoro is a Kanak artist and activist.

Diggy Dupé
Artist | @diggydupe

Diggy Dupé has come a long way from the teenage days of making music with his cousin ReddxRozaay, using the most basic of tools that included a Motorola phone and singstar microphone. A finalist for Best Hip Hop Act at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards for his 2018 EP Island Time, the talented rapper is set to release his full-length debut That’s Me, That’s Team on 28 August.


First Fridays August | 7 August, 6pm | Level 1, 300 Karangahape Rd


For further information please Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

FALE-SHIP: Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows

Tui & Sulieti Faleship 2020

Talitali fiefia! Introducing the mother and daughter duo Tui Emma Gillies and Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows!

Tongan | Falevai, Vava’u / NZ
Northland & South Auckland, Aotearoa
Instagram | Facebook | Tui’s Website | Sulieti’s Email


Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows are New Zealand based Tongan artists specialising in tapa art. Their work mixes can be challenging, confronting and controversial, but always with respect to the roots of the medium and the ancestors who practised it before them.
They have received grants from Creative New Zealand towards collaborative art projects and were the recipients of the Creative New Zealand Heritage Art Award in 2018. They have exhibited and presented their work across the globe and sold works to private buyers, including The Royal Academy of Art in London (during Oceania) The National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, The University of Hawaii Hilo and Auckland Museum. Sulieti was recently made an MNZM in the New Zealand New Year’s honours.


Specialising in tapa art, the pair shares a deep dive into their creative processes throughout their Fale-ship residency.



Tui & Sulieti share insights into their creative processes and context behind their new artwork after coming out of lockdown!

Watch this behind-the-scenes time lapse of Tui & Sulieti creating their incredible new work!



“How do Pacific Islanders deal with isolation? The answer is simple: Fāmili”

– Tui Emma Gillies

The final tapa piece completed by Tui & Sulieti during their Fale-ship residency, a new artwork entitled Fāmili

Fāmili by Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme'a Burrows
Fāmili | Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows | Tautai Fale-ship Home Residencies

Q+A Talanoa with Tui, Sulieti & Benji Timu

https://youtu.be/XyEVWecPL1I
Q+A Talanoa facilitated by: 
Benji Timu | @thelifestyleofbenji | @BenjiTimu
Filmmaker/Architect
Sāmoan/Kuki Airani/Niue | Letogo/Aitutaki/Mangaia
East Auckland, Aotearoa 

BT: “How important is it to showcase the lived experience of Moana artists?

TG: “I think it’s really important, we’ve got a lot of stories to pass down, …stories that we’ve been told from our elders and ancestors, and their stories need to be shared and told so they’re not lost…”

Excerpt from Talanoa

View all the FALE-SHIPS here

For further information please

I did a BA…and turned out fine

Video by Cass Marrett for Re:News

“There’s something about the work you’re creating that cannot be replicated in any other sector.”

– Courtney Sina Meredith, Tautai Director

Bachelor of Arts degrees, like all degrees, have an important part to play in our economy and society.

University of Auckland Arts graduates Courtney Sina Meredith (Tautai Art Gallery Director/Writer/Poet), Joshua Ling (Digital Marketing Executive, Paramount Pictures) and Lydia Hollister-Jones (Marketing Content Specialist, World Vision) tell us how they couldn’t have got their skills and careers with any other degree.

Find out more about where you can go with a BA here

Video by Cass Marrett for Re: News
Published online on 22 July 2020 (source)

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Opening Night Photo Gallery

On Friday July 3 we opened Tautai Gallery and made history together!

We welcomed the community into our gallery for the first time with inaugural opening exhibition Moana Legacy.

Check out the Opening Night photo gallery’s below!

Our new expanded space was officially opened by Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern alongside a host of speakers including Founding Patron Fatu Feu’u, Representatives from Ngati Whatua and Creative New Zealand and our Board. We also acknowledge the attendance of The Right Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Moana Legacy marks a moment in the history of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust opening its first gallery space.

Featuring artists: Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki, Gina Ropiha , Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro, Rangituhia Hollis and Talia Smith


“This is a new chapter for Tautai, a historical moment in which we are honouring our heritage and moving forward together”


– Courtney Sina Meredith



All Photos by Isoa Kavakimotu


Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till September 18
Gallery Hours: 11am – 4pm


For further information please email us
Tautai.org  #tautai4lyfe

About: Fale-ships

We have launched the highly anticipated Tautai Fale-ship Home Residency digital series!

TAUTAI FALE-SHIP Home Residencies will feature 20 Moana artists each week over five months through our website and social media platforms between July – December 2020

FEATURING:
Natasha Ratuva | Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows | Iata Peautolu | Elisabeth Kumaran | Lyncia Muller | Sani Muliaumaseali’i | Keva Rands | Jaimie Waititi | Chris Van Doren | Jasmine Tuia | Tuafale Tanoai | Melissa Gilbert | Salvador Brown | Christopher Ulutupu | Fa’amele Etuale | Rawiri Brown | Tyla Vaeau | Michael Mulipola | Ashleigh Taupaki | John Ioane

Moana artists make some of their best work at home; at the kitchen table, in living rooms surrounded by family, in bedrooms and garages, in home studios where we feel safe and connected to those around us. We are constantly creating and thinking of new ideas, informed by the people and places that give life to our creativity.

“Now is the time, more than ever, to celebrate and support artists in our own back yard.”

– Courtney Sina Meredith, Tautai Director

Artists will undertake a 1-week deep dive into exploring the creative processes behind their work and share an insight into their home practice as artists in residence, responding to a period of global transformation through a localised lens. Experienced digitally but grounded in the physical, the TAUTAI FALE-SHIP Home Residencies place value on the everyday experiences of Moana artists operating in their own centres.

This initiative aims to encourage meaningful connections through the digital Moana as we slowly navigate a new sense of normality due to the global pandemic of COVID-19.

Follow our wave as we navigate the digital Moana together:
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

For further information please email us
Tautai.org
#LocalThinking #LocalMaking #tautai4lyfe

From the moana to K Road

From the moana to K Road: A new Auckland home for artists of the Pacific

From kete and hiapo to MS Paint and neo-pop crocodiles, Tautai Gallery celebrates Pacific art in all its forms.

Written by Gareth Shute for The Spinoff. 7 July 2020

Neo-Pop Artist Ahsin Ahsin in front of his work at Moana Legacy, the opening exhibition of Tautai Gallery (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

After three decades in existence, Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust has launched its own gallery on Auckland’s Karangahape Road.

The first thing that hits you entering Tautai Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Moana Legacy, is the range of works on show. On one huge wall is a mural of black humanoid crocodiles on a pink background by neo-pop artist Ahsin Ahsin (Atiu, Aitutaki), while the wall opposite has an illustrated hiapo (Niuean tapa cloth) made using traditional methods by Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) and her sister Kelly Lafaiki. 

Elsewhere, a specially constructed frame holds ghostly photographs by Talia Smith (Cook Islands, Samoan and New Zealand European) and these sit across hangings of tiny, intricate kete made by Gina Ropiha (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Raukawa/Ngāti Rakau) from her own hair, while around a corner a dark corridor is filled by an installation of neon blue tubes created by Israel Randell (Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu).

Jacinda Ardern sepaking at the Opening of Tautai Gallery (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

Tautai founding patron Fatu Feu’u sees this gallery space as the eventual end point of work that he began over 30 years ago. In the 80s, he recalls Colin McCahon saying to him that the New Zealand art world was waiting for Pacific artists to make a serious contribution. The history of progress during the intervening years is evident all around you at Tautai.

Wickliffe’s work is an example of this. She speaks of the influence of legendary NZ Niuean artist John Pule and how their families both came from the same village in Niue. His work proved that the imagery of hiapo had a place in fine art and her work takes the logic one step further – his work was on canvas, while her hiapo are created using traditional materials and patterns. By bringing hiapo out of the museums and into a gallery space, Wickliffe pushes forward the argument for their place in the contemporary artistic conversation. 

Wickliffe took this notion further in her introductory speech for the opening exhibition (which she curated). Pointing to one work, she told the audience it was an unfinished work dedicated to her grandfather who passed away last year. She then proceeded to “complete” the work by painting thick strokes of black paint over the face of the piece, erasing the illustrations and thereby evocatively expressing her loss, while the audience watched on in shocked silence. 

Cora-Allan Wickliffe “Completed” this work at the opening of the exhibition by painting thick strokes of black paint over it (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)



Many of the artists on display in the opening exhibition also took part in Tautai’s groundbreaking show in Naarm/Melbourne last year, so the return to Auckland had a sense of homecoming. For Ahsin Ahsin, the trip was his first involvement with Tautai and he found it refreshing to connect with other artists from a Pacific background without any pressure to perform their culture in their art.

“I got to hang out with brown artists, which is quite rare for me. I’m based in Hamilton and there’s not many brown artists in the art community… It’s just about self-expression. I’m from the Pacific so that makes it Pacific art, but I do what I do.”

Ahsin Ahsin



In the future, Ahsin hopes to collaborate with another artist who showed at both exhibitions, Rangituhia Hollis (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), since they both also create digital work. Hollis’s advanced digital imagery had its own juxtapositions within the current exhibition: firstly with three charcoal/painted works he created to sit alongside them, but also in contrast with the videos created by Brisbane-born Fijian artist Mereani Qalovakawasa, which purposefully use the simplistic software of MS Paint to add a primacy to her work about life with a chronic illness (lupus). 

Hollis was among four artists with Māori heritage in the show (making up half the participants), which reflects Tautai’s recognition of moana nui a kiwa – that all Pacific peoples derive from the same ocean. Hollis says he got a huge amount from being involved in the Tautai exhibition in Naarm/Melbourne, since it also involved trips to local galleries hosted by indigenous curators and opportunities to examine the Pasifika collection at the museums. He is equally impressed by the open, expansive layout of the new gallery:

“I think the utilisation of the space is amazing. I’ve seen it in other forms when it was Artspace and the Film Archive. Artspace had a lot of storage space but this seems to be space for people, not storage for archived items.”

Naawie Tutugoro next to her work, which used bent hair curlers to create a lei (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

Naawie Tutugoro (Kanak and Anglo-Argentinian/European) is one emerging artist involved in Moana Legacy who understands how far Tautai has come to get to this stage. Her father, Luke Tutugoro, was involved with Tautai from its inception and when she was a child he enlisted her to paint the garage of their Grey Lynn villa with nuclear-free messages as part of a Tautai-led campaign. She therefore appreciates the gravity of having her work on display on the opening night.

“It feels like tonight we are planting a tree that is going to be very sacred for the generations to come. I feel very lucky to be opening this space and have work that instigates that.”

– Naawie Tutugoro


The Moana Legacy exhibition is open until September 18.

Written by Gareth Shute for The Spinoff (source)
Published online on Tuesday July 7, 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Gallery Tour with John Campbell

Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has reopened on K Road

A wise man once said, “great art feeds a family for generations”.
That man is Fatu Feu’u ONZM, the founder of Tautai, New Zealand’s leading pacific arts organisation.
The Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has now reopened in the city as a space where people can not only see art but can do art.

Breakfast got a sneak peek at how it’s looking.



More information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September at Tautai Gallery

Meet the Artists of Moana Legacy: Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Kelly Lafaiki, Rangituhia Hollis, Gina Ropiha, Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro

For further information please Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Tautai Gallery Opening

Tautai Gallery is a niu space with a rich legacy.

Over 30 years ago Tautai’s founding patron Fatu Feu’u and his peers gathered with a vision to create belonging and community for Pacific artists.

Fast forward to 2020 and Tautai Gallery is the fulfilment of this enduring ambition.

Contemporary Pacific art now has a dedicated platform right in the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Truly a night to remember!

Video by No Six

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Tautai Gallery’s first curator


“It’s really important our community shows up for us. Without them what’s the purpose of having our work?”

– Cora-Allan Wickliffe


Hear more about our opening exhibition Moana Legacy from curator and artist Cora-Allan Wickliffe 
We can’t wait to share this epic exhibition with you all!

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till September 18
Gallery Hours: 11am – 4pm


Meet the Artists of Moana Legacy HERE

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Founding Patron, Fatu Feu’u

Just as the Pacific arts sector has grown, Tautai has grown with it.

We are excited about our new gallery which will enable us to further support and serve our community.

“Nearly 40 years ago… I didn’t even think we were going to have a Tautai organisation and to have this space now – it’s just amazing.”

– Fatu Feu’u, Tautai Founding Patron

Stay Creative, Stay Connected!

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Exhibition: Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy

Multi-disciplinary show that heralds Tautai’s new space

6th July – 18th September, 2020 
Tautai Gallery  Mon – Fri 11am – 4pm

Moana Legacy is Tautai’s first exhibition in its new gallery space, the show has been developed from an existing partnership with Blak Dot Gallery, Naarm (Melbourne) featuring moana artists working in both Aotearoa and Australia. Continuing the conversation in Tautai’s new expanded space in the heart of Auckland, this show offers up assorted approaches to the idea of legacy.

As artists of the moana, one often looks back to move forward, contemplating the connections to ancestors and finding a place within a narrative that is as deep as the ocean itself. Our ancestors left behind stories of legend with impressive characters, some continue to shape our contemporary stories of today. 

A legacy is the story of someone’s life, it is something that a person leaves behind to be remembered. Legacies are pathways that guide people with their own decision-making – inspiring them to build a legacy of their own.

With this in mind, the artists in this exhibition investigate notions of legacy  and their link to the moana. Featuring photography, installation, video, sculpture, hiapo and painting, Moana Legacy is a celebration of our own legacies and what it means to be an artist of the Pacific

Curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe, this show features Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki, Gina Ropiha, Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro, Rangituhia Hollis and Talia Smith.

Moana Legacy runs from 6 July – 18 September, 2020.


Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September 2020



For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Courtney Sina Meredith Viva 2020

Power Art Couple Janet Lilo & Courtney Sina Meredith At Home In Avondale

Award-winning artists Courtney Sina Meredith and Janet Lilo find love in everything they do

Written by Andrew Glenn for Viva. March 25th 2020

A painting by Courtney’s cousin Danielle Meredith of them as children hangs in the lounge. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Sitting down with artists Courtney Sina Meredith and Janet Lilo in their Avondale home and listening to their story is compelling and uplifting. It’s a story filled with mana; tales about love, family, community and giving back.

It would be easy to just label them a “power” art couple; Courtney is an award-winning poet and the director of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust; Janet is an influential visual artist with permanent works in Te Papa and the Auckland Art Gallery.

Yet it’s soon evident that family and community are their most important works to date; each of them excelling in their respective roles as mothers, lovers, civic leaders and artistic pioneers.

Lately, Courtney’s focus has been on Tautai. Previously inhabited by Artspace (which has moved downstairs), the gallery is expanding to take over the whole of the first floor to include a new space, which is a first in Tautai’s 34-year history.

Tautai Contact
Tautai HQ, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road

The new gallery, when it opens, will be a platform for artists making room for more exciting Pasifika-curated exhibitions. “Artspace has been an emblem for contemporary New Zealand art. So now to occupy that space and make it all about contemporary Pacific art, well there’s something really beautiful in that and something really now,” says Courtney.

“When we talk about the rise of Pacific art,” she continues, “I genuinely believe there’s a new consciousness, or an awareness, that [Pasifika artists] have always been here. That these aren’t new voices, it’s an awareness of those voices, and an infrastructure for those voices, and I’ll say it — new funding for the amplification of those voices — where we’re seeing change. More and more we’re having people in leadership positions who are saying ‘This is important to us; these are our key values’; it’s not just dressing.”

Ralph Brown Viva
Photograph by Ralph Brown of Coven. Photo / Babiche Martens.

She and Janet have known each other for years, since they were both high school students at Western Springs College, but fell in love and moved in together just a year ago. They share their home with Janet’s boys — Harry 12, Milo, 9, and Manaia, 3 — and Courtney’s “baby” Sadie Rose, a dachshund/shih tzu puppy.

Courtney has lived in the home for nearly two years; it’s been in a family trust for some time and several years ago she helped her father renovate it. With vast open views to the Waitakere ranges, the house has an enormous, slightly sloping backyard that the boys turn into a giant waterslide in summer.

Their love affair represents the merger of two incredibly talented Pacific artists. In addition to her role at Tautai, Courtney is an award-winning poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician.

She’s earned critical acclaim for her published works, including Tail of The Taniwha, a book of short stories, and The Adventures of Tupaia, the story of a Tahitian priest navigator who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa.

Janet, an artist, lecturer and social commentator, uses digital photography, video, and multimedia installations to explore issues of popular culture, and is prestigiously represented in permanent collections at the Auckland Art Gallery and Wellington’s Te Papa.

“I went to all of her shows, I fan-girled her!” says Courtney, who is four years younger than Janet. After high school their paths would criss-cross over the years.

Tautai Viva 2020
(From left) Courtney’s published books and poems; Chewed milk bottle collaboration with Janet and her dog. Photos / Babiche Martens.

When Courtney was 24, and working at Auckland Council, she curated an art project and recruited Janet to be involved. Subsequently through their mutual involvement with Tautai — Janet was previously on the board — a seed of friendship was born that later blossomed into love.

“Part of why we fell in love and why I’m so in love with Janet and so obsessed with her — I’m infatuated, I really am,” says Courtney, “[is that] there’s a natural ease in our relationship.

“I’ve never admired someone as much; I’ve never had a partner who I look across to and feel so inspired by, or in awe of, constantly. I find magic in all that she is, in all that she does.”

Courtney Sina Meredith

Their mutual love is palpable. Displayed on a living room sideboard table are a collection of works by Courtney, including the Poetry New Zealand 2020 Yearbook which features a love poem written from Courtney to Janet.

Will they plan on having children of their own? “It’s a work in progress,” says Janet, adding with a laugh. “We already have a fourth child, Sadie.”

Although Janet only recently moved in with Courtney, she is no stranger to Avondale, having grown up in the suburb with most of her family close by.

She’s also no stranger to giving back to her community; as a trustee of Whau the People Charitable Trust, an Avondale-based arts collective, she co-runs the All Goods Gallery, a non-profit space for arts, established a year ago.

Janet Lilo Viva
Artwork from Janet’s ‘Laptop series 2019 (black & silver edition)’ (2019). Photo / Babiche Martens.

Her next big project is organising The Whau Arts Festival, set to be this June. “I have always worked with community in the context of arts. There’s a balance: to do the little things, you do the big things,” she explains.

After the Christchurch attacks a little over a year ago, Janet decided to show her solidarity with the Avondale Islamic Centre by anonymously leaving an artwork on the fence inscribed ‘ISLOVE’, along with the hundreds of other tributes from other strangers.

Twelve months on her sign is the only message the centre has not taken down. “The community is our home,” says Janet. “It’s probably my most favourite work of 2019 in terms of what it means to me.”

Their house is a “work in progress” from a decorative point of view, mainly due to the fact they’ve only recently moved in together. “We haven’t been together for so long to ‘grow up’ a house. These things take time,” says Janet, showing me one of her favourite pieces — a milk bottle punctured by thousands of tiny holes, which she explains is the result of the dog’s teething period. “That’s quintessentially New Zealand.”

The walls are filled with pieces of deep sentimental value. Courtney’s pieces include a photograph taken by Ralph Brown of Coven, a collective of queer artists activating an arts space. Below that is a painting by Courtney’s step-grandmother Patricia Melhuish, of a beach scene in Napier.

Patricia Melhuish Viva
Painting by Courtney’s step-grandmother Patricia Melhuish. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Janet’s recurring use of bananas as iconography — think of her 6m-high light poles on the Karangahape Rd overbridge in 2017 — began with her original work, Banana (2012), which now sits on the living room wall behind the sofa.

She explains her use of bananas was originally inspired by her late Samoan grandmother, who used to hand out bananas to her and her cousins when they were children.

For the Viva shoot to accompany this story Janet has set up a temporary installation of corflute laptops — emblazoned with MAKE WRONG RIGHT NOW — in the backyard. It’s an edit from her work Man in the Mirror that was part of the 2019 Honolulu Biennial, where she represented New Zealand. “I quite like using things that have a local or global context,” she says.

Above the mantle in the living room is a painting by Courtney’s cousin Danielle Meredith — appropriated from an early childhood photo, which her grandfather still carries in his wallet — that holds a special place in Courtney’s heart.

“It’s a little portal to a moment in time when you were young and everything was perfect and you hadn’t experienced anything horrible yet.”

Courtney Sina Meredith

As a child growing up in Glen Innes, Courtney Sina Meredith developed a deep love for her grandmother who she fondly remembers as an incredibly kind and empathetic soul; she remembers her working tirelessly in a denim factory for much of her life, having immigrated from Samoa at the age of 17.

Danielle Meredith Viva
A painting by Courtney’s cousin Danielle Meredith of them as children hangs in the lounge. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Despite her grandmother’s death just a couple of years after the photo was taken, the legacy of her hard work and passion is what inspires Courtney every day. “She encouraged me from a young age to speak my mind and have a voice,” she says.

“From her challenges and her journey, to having a grandchild who’s now opening this beautiful big space [Tautai]; the journey for me to be able to do these things began a couple of generations back.”


Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust was set to reopen on March 26, with Moana Legacy, an exhibition curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe. It has now been postponed due to Covid-19. Check Tautai.org for updates.


Written by Andrew Glenn for VIVA (source)
Published in print on Wednesday March 25, 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Covid-19

Covid-19 update from Tautai HQ

Office now open. Hours: 9am–5:30pm, Mon–Fri

Please call ahead or email us to schedule a visit

Now we are open again we will be adhering to government guidelines around Covid-19.

The safety of the community and our staff is our top priority, therefore we will be taking the following precautions:

  • Please ring our office landline +64 9 3761665 or email us to schedule a visit/ meeting/ appointment with a staff member
  • On arrival you must sign into GuestHQ by scanning the QR code with your mobile phone and completing your details
  • A maximum of 10 people are allowed in the office at all times

Please remember:

  • If you are unwell, stay at home
  • Exercise social distancing at all times
  • Please wash your hands, we will provide hand sanitizer for our visitors
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Be respectful and patient, we are doing our best to adjust to this new way of life.

Once we are back in the office we will get the ball rolling on opening our gallery.

Stay up to date on our announcements regarding the Moana Legacy exhibition opening by following our social media accounts and joining our mailing list. We can’t wait to share our new space with you all! Thank you for your ongoing support during this tough time.

We have been working hard to stay connected, head over to our website tautai.org to see what we have been doing to share alofa and creativity over the past eight weeks.

Meitaki ma’ata,
Team Tautai


Tautai HQLevel 1, 300 Karangahape Road
Tautai onlineFacebook | Instagram | Website | Twitter | Youtube | LinkedIn | Pre-2020 Web Archive

For general enquiries please email us
Visit our contact page for further information
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

If you like our Covid-19 Fale artwork and would like to use the signage for your work-space, please feel free to download the artwork here.

Postcards Unlocked bookend

Postcards Unlocked

Digital postcards from Pasifika artists across Aotearoa and beyond

Postcards Unlocked was a digital activation featuring 40 artists over 40 days. The project was launched during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa to encourage meaningful connections through the digital moana to uplift our community and celebrate Pacific creativity. Additionally, Postcards Unlocked provided some financial relief for the community, as each featured artist was gifted a koha.

“Founded on sharing and alofa, Postcards Unlocked sustained our community through a time of great change. I’m proud of the belonging and the connectedness we created together.”

Courtney Sina Meredith, Tautai Director

Every postcard offered a peek into the creative process and inspiration from members of Tautai’s treasured Pasifika arts community – covering visual arts, music, dance, tatau, design, poetry, prose, performance, film, fashion, and emerging art forms. The mixture of participating artists allowed us to tautoko some well-known names as well as emerging talents working in a variety of mediums. 

“I [was] proud as a pineapple to be a part of this amazing Postcards Unlocked project, which was nothing short of brilliant.”

Dessa Bluu, Postcard artist

The activation used Tautai’s social media channels as a platform and included artists at all stages of their careers, from all over Aotearoa and beyond. Using the digital moana we extended the reach of Pacific art during a time when people were using the internet more than ever. Originally the tagline for Postcards Unlocked was “30 days 30 artists” but due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the project we showcased an additional 10 artists, resulting in the 40 postcards over 40 days. Tautai felt the alofa from our community with many likes, shares, comments, and new followers across our social channels – the Tautai Facebook Page now has over 5,000 followers!

Tautai exists to uplift and celebrate Pacific art in its many forms. We acknowledge the participating artists who made every day a journey of discovery for our aiga and supporters. As we ease our way out of lockdown in Aotearoa we are adapting to meet the needs of a changing world. Placing our makers and our thinkers at the forefront of all we do – there are new opportunities on the horizon grounded in the resilience and innovation of Postcards Unlocked.

The Entire Postcards Collection

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Contact Tautai

Contact Tautai

Looking to connect? Please do! We’d love to hear from you

At Tautai we champion Pacific creativity, so if you’re an artist, researcher, curator, educator, student, writer or journalist and would like to contact Tautai, there are several ways to get in touch.


Covid-19 update – While we are working away from our creative base on Karangahape Road, we will be contactable via email and mobile only.


Office Hours: Mon – Fri 9–5:30pm
Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri 10–4pm, closed weekends. Due to Covid 19 the gallery is currently closed.

After Hours:
We frequently have activated events which often run outside office and gallery hours.
To keep abreast of our activities subscribe or check out the latest on our website.

Physical Address:
Tautai HQ and Gallery,
level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Newton,
Auckland 1010, Aotearoa New Zealand

Postal Address:
Tautai Pacific Arts Trust
PO Box 68 339, Wellesley Street West,
Auckland 1010, Aotearoa New Zealand

Tautai Online:
Facebook | Instagram | Website | Twitter | Youtube | LinkedIn | Pre-2020 Web Archive

Contact Tautai
Tautai HQ, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Auckland, Aotearoa

Tautai Information
Your first port of call, if you’re not sure what you need, email Tautai Info and Zoe will send you in the right direction.
Zoe Lewis, Tautai Assistant – ddi +64 9 376 1665 | +64 21 065 1656

Tautai Gallery
Curious about an artist or wanting information on upcoming Tautai exhibitions and activities? Email Tautai Gallery and you’ll soon hear from our gallery expert Gloriana.
Gloriana Meyers, Gallery Assistant – ddi +64 376 1665 | +64 27 688 8518

Tautai Administration
Wanting to find someone specific or book in a meeting or anything logistical? Email Tautai Admin and Danielle will help you out – she runs everything.
Danielle Meredith, Operations Manager – ddi +64 9 376 1665 | +64 22 561 4098

Tautai Director
Interested in finding out about the future of Pacific creativity in Aotearoa? Needing an expert opinion on Oceanic expression? Email any of the above contacts first, or reach out to the Tautai Director and Courtney Sina Meredith will reply in due course.
Courtney Sina Meredith, Director – ddi +64 9 376 1665 | +64 22 532 0806

For general enquiries please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Tautai Contact
Tautai HQ, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road

About Tautai

About Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

Over the past 30 years we have grown to become Aotearoa’s leading Pacific arts organisation with a multidisciplinary focus.

Office Hours: Mon–Fri, 10am – 5:30pm

Tautai Lei 2020
Tautai team weaves the iconic ribbon lei, 2019

Welcome to Tautai, Aotearoa’s leading Pacific arts organisation.

Located in Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand – Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust is a charitable trust dedicated to championing Pacific arts and artists. Tautai was formed in the 1980s when leading Samoan artist Fatu Feu’u and his peers came together with a shared aspiration to support and promote Pacific visual artists.

In the years since, we has grown to become Aotearoa’s premiere Pacific arts organisation with a multidisciplinary focus. We bring artists and the wider Tautai aiga together through a range of events and activities locally and globally.

“Great art feeds a family for generations.”

Tautai Founding Patron, Fatu Feu’u
Founding Patron Fatu Feu’u speaks about the growth of the Pacific arts sector. 

Proudly supported by Creative New Zealand, Foundation North and Fetu Ta‘i Patrons, Tautai is able to provide unique opportunities for the Oceanic arts community. Situated in the heart of Auckland’s CBD on Karangahape Road, Tautai’s newly expanded premises now includes a gallery space dedicated to showcasing the works of contemporary Pacific creatives all year round. In addition, Tautai’s full programme of activities and events include live-streamed artist talks and performances, a brand-new international strategy, workshops, internships and partnership initiatives that encourage growth in the sector.

“Tautai began with a vision to create belonging and community for Pacific artists. Fast forward to 2020 and Tautai Gallery is the fulfilment of this enduring ambition.”

Tautai Director, Courtney Sina Meredith

Tautai draws on the Samoan word for navigator and illustrates the organisation’s commitment to guiding moana arts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tautai’s Board of Trustees is chaired by leading Pacific artist Lonnie Hutchinson (Ngāi Tahu, Sāmoa), she is supported in her role by fellow Trustees: Brenda Railey (Secretary), John Gandy and Stephen Tamatoa Cairns.

“Tautai is a place, a people and a purpose.” – Director, Courtney Sina Meredith 

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Tautai Online
Contact Us | Facebook | Instagram | Website | Twitter | Youtube | LinkedIn | Pre-2020 Web Archive

Director Founder Tautai 2020
Courtney Sina Meredith with Founding Patron Fatu Feu’u at First Fridays October, 2019.

Tautai HQ

Afio mai to the new Tautai HQ

A fresh beacon of Pasifika creativity in Auckland’s art district

Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Auckland, Aotearoa

Official Opening of Tautai’s Gallery, Friday 3 July

With major funding secured from Creative New Zealand, the new Tautai headquarters places them alongside other key organisations such as Te Papa and Auckland Art Gallery as a platform for amplifying Pacific creativity.

When Tautai HQ reopens, it will be to a beautiful expanded space of over 500 square metres, with a myriad of new initiatives planned for the coming year. Tautai’s Director Courtney Sina Meredith says the extra space, which includes a dedicated gallery, will enable Tautai to expand on its current programmes and activities from a central location.

“We are setting up a hub in the city for Oceanic creatives where they can come and talk about their work, we have a huge gallery space for art, music, exhibitions, readings, film, performance – you name it, we can do it all here”

Courtney Sina Meredith.

The key contributing factors that make up Tautai is the work we do within education and institutional facilities, with artists, industry and our fundraising abilities. With this new expansion comes greater opportunity in all these areas.

Kiribati Association Tautai
West Auckland Kiribati Association

Artist support
If you are an artist interested in becoming part of Tautai’s creative community please follow our facebook page, which is regularly updated with new opportunities.

Tautai Oceania Internship Programme
Tautai’s treasured internship programme, now in its seventh year, is currently paused due to COVID-19.
If you are interested in becoming part of our internship programme in future either as a host organisation or an intern, please contact us via email. Check out our coverage on our 2019 internship programmes.

Fundraising
Tautai is a Toi Tōtara Haemata investment client, our main source of funding comes from Creative New Zealand. We also receive generous support from Foundation North and our Fetu Ta’i patrons. Tautai  work with additional networks to further strengthen the creative Pacific community. In 2020 we plan  to expand even further, connecting in with aligned Oceanic arts organisations and Pacific media to profile and uplift our arts aiga.  

Tautai Gallery
Open Mon–Fri 10–4pm | Gallery Opening Friday 3rd July, 4:30pm
Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Newton, Auckland.
PO Box 68 339, Wellesley Street West.

“This is a new chapter for Tautai, a historical moment in which we are honouring our heritage and moving forward together”

Courtney Sina Meredith
Director Founder Tautai 2020
Director Courtney Sina Meredith with Founding Patron Fatu Feu’u at First Fridays October, 2019

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

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