About Michel Tuffery New Zealand Fine Artist

About Michel Tuffery


Manuia le aso. Kia orana. Ia ora na.

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

Within his art practice he plays the role of working “in between” people and places, and focusing a fresh lens on environmental, community, cultural and art historical divides.

Tuffery is a passionate educator who openly shares his kauapapa and knowledge to empower our youth through residencies and workshops for school-aged children in New Zealand and abroad.

He exhibits worldwide and has undertaken research and community residencies throughout the USA, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Asia, India, Australia, as well as Aotearoa and the Pacific.

In 2008 Michel was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to art—his ongoing rewards come from enriching communities through his art. 

Enjoy the website and keep checking in as art, current exhibitions and his latest project news lands here. 

Mauruuru ora 

Michel and Team Tuffs

Artwork Practice

While Michel keeps busy, he is also open to opportunities for public speaking, workshops, collaborations, residencies and commissions – for which there is currently a nine month wait list. Enquiries are always welcome for these and more possibilities listed below.

• Woodcuts
• Lithographs
• Etchings
• Drawings
• Painting
• Sculpture
• Carving
• Installations
• Performance Art
• Architectural Projection
• Art Educator
• Documentary Producer
• Creative Director

Moana-in-flight-view-from-Aramoana-of-Taiaroa-Head_2018 by Michel Tuffery

Recent Exhibitions, Projects and Residencies

2019 Chapter 1, Moana Nga Manu brings you into Michel’s research and processes from his 2018 eight week ‘Wild Creations’ artist in residence awarded by Creative New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. The Artists Room, Dunedin, 18 May – 18 June 2019.

2019 Michel was most humbled to be one of the recipients of Te Kura Matatini ki Otago Polytechnic Distinguished Alumni Award on the 17th May. It was an incredibly special award to receive.

2019 Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in museums and public spaces this free online course was developed by the National Maritime Museum Greenwich in London.

2019 Paradise Lost: Daniel Solander’s Legacy delves into the life of Solander, the Swedish botanist and naturalist through the lens of ten New Zealand artists. Michel partnered with The Embassy of Sweden in Canberra to commemorate Solander’s contribution made to New Zealand’s history. Solander Gallery, Wellington, 9 February – 9 March 2019.

2019 Reimagining Captain Cook Pacific Perspectives explores contemporary Pacific perspectives and considers some of the complexities of Cook’s legacy in the Pacific. The British Museum, London, 29 November 2018 – 4 August 2019.


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

Featured Artworks

Featured News

Donkey Mill Art Centre, Workshops, Exhibition

Talofa all and welcome to 2023! With the Lunar New Year brings on the Year of the Rabbit, considered the luckiest of the 12 zodiac animals, representing peace and longevity.
Alofa Commissioned Fonts Artwork Michel Tuffery

Talofa all and welcome to 2023!

Talofa all and welcome to 2023! With the Lunar New Year brings on the Year of the Rabbit, considered the luckiest of the 12 zodiac animals, representing peace and longevity.
Thanks 2022 — You’ve Been Awesome!

Thanks 2022, You’ve Been Awesome!

Kia Orana folks, a big talofa as we wind up 2022! If 2021 was the year of navigation through tricky waters, then 2022 was an opportunity to review, re-set and reach out.
Win a $500 Gift Card

WIN a $500 Gift Card

Gift Cards are now a thing in our online store and to celebrate YOU could win a NZD $500 Gift Card*. TO ENTER THE DRAW: • Tell us what your fave Tuffery artwork is in the competition comments on Facebook or Instagram. • Sign-up for the Tuff's Newsletter database

Covid-19 – An Artist’s Response Exhibition

The Taupō Museum and Art Gallery has invited seven artists from around New Zealand to participate in its newest exhibition Covid-19 – An Artist’s Response which showcases artworks influenced by the pandemic.

Whetu Marama: Bright Star Documentary Film

Whetū Mārama – Bright Star is the story of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi, aka Hek Busby, and his significance for Māori in rekindling their wayfinding DNA.