About Michel Tuffery New Zealand Fine Artist

About Michel Tuffery


Manuia le aso. Kia orana. Ia ora na. Greetings.

I’m Michel Tuffery, a New Zealand-based artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Ma’ohi Tahitian heritage.

My kaupapa within my art practice is the role of working “in between” as a connector by placing a fresh lens on environmental, community, cultural and art historical divides. I had the benefit of being in the first wave of artists with Pacific ancestry to work within the contemporary art world and we all came to prominence in the early 1990’s.

I’ve sustained an amazing art career, with incredible platforms to engage myself creatively all over the world. As an active participator in contemporary culture my artwork is curated into major international exhibitions and commissions. Having undertaken numerous research and community residencies throughout the USA, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Asia, India, Australia and much closer to home Aotearoa and proudly the Pacific.

It is always an honour to be recognised by the art world and in 2008 I was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to art. However, the real reward is to enrich communities through my art.

Enjoy my website and keep checking in as art and news lands here.

Michel aka Tuffs

Artwork Practice

I’m open to opportunities for public speaking, residencies, collaborations and commissions.

• Woodcuts
• Lithographs
• Etchings
• Drawings
• Painting
• Sculpture
• Carvings
• Installations
• Performance art
• Architectural projection
• Documentary producer
• Artistic director
• Art Educator
• Solo and Collaborative

About Michel Tuffery Artist

Recent Exhibitions, Projects and Residencies

2017 Tupaia’s Endeavor, Three-part Documentary Series, Maori Television Sunday’s 3pm 30 July, 6 and 13 August

2017 Overall Art Prize & 1st Primary School Art Prize for “Matariki – Maori New Year” a collaboration with Samuel Marsden Collegiate, Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2016 Reading Middens, Tracing Lines, solo exhibition and artist-in-residency, Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Waiheke Island, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

2015 Pacifique(s) Contemporain, group exhibition, conference and artist-in-residency, Universities of Le Havre and Rouen, France

2015 Siamani Samoa with the Royal Samoa Police Band, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

2014 Transforma, C3West, Museum of Contemporary Art and Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia

2013 Made in Oceania: Tapa – Art and Social Landscapes, Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne, Germany

2012 First Contact, architectural projection and performance artwork for the opening of the New Zealand International Arts Festival at Te Papa, Wellington, Aotearoa (New Zealand)


A Radio New Zealand interview with Kathryn Ryan about how my Pacific Island heritage influences my work.


Reading Middens, Tracing Lines is a 2016 exhibition which followed my residency on Waiheke Island.

Scott Ewing, a local ‘Waihesian’ was commissioned jointly by the Waiheke Community Art Gallery and the Waiheke Island Community Cinema to document my thread of study during my artist in residency. Watch the result below, awesome times!

The exhibition was well received with all the paintings sold out, however there’s still the beautiful limited edition emboss prints and cast bronze shells for sale in my online store.

Documentary by Scott Ewing Thanks for giving permission to use this e hoa! Contact Scott »

This website was created with the assistance from Creative New Zealand.

About Michel Tuffery - CNZ