Michel Tuffery Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Series

Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Series Exhibition

In 2020, Michel Tuffery collaborated with Dr Karlo Mila to create the narrated and animated Mana Moana 2020 Meditation (digitalocean.manamoana.co.nz). Te Moana Nui a Kiwa emerges from this co-creation, and from origins as ancient as the great sea of Kiwa.

Seven new works share stories of unfurling life and ongoing whakapapa, the unbreakable connections of past-present-future and ocean-land-sky. Prompted by stills from the meditation, each work has been hand-drawn, extended and reinvigorated at extraordinary resolution. Compulsory Covid-19 lockdowns gave time and pause for Tuffery to harness new creative and printing technologies. Details emerge from the blackest of black inks as though luminescent. The distinction between 2-d and 3-d cannot hold; these works pulsate, twinkle and spin.

Reaching out from the fertile darkness of the realm of potential being, here is our ever-turning world.

—Writer, Dr Billie Lythberg


First exhibited at Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Exhibition
The Central Art Gallery
Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand
5 February – 7 March 2021

Forty University of Canterbury students visited the exhibition as part of the Takere course, which focuses on strengthening relationships, study skills and resilience necessary for academic success.

The student and the exhibition share a special bond though the name of the course and the subject of Tuffs works. ‘The name Takere refers to the hull of a canoe. The hull of a waka is also the place where our voyaging tīpuna stored the resources and taonga necessary for their journey as they moved across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Pacific Ocean.’

Tuffs gave the students a private artist-talk and they finished the session by joining together for a waiata.

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