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Taneatua Art Gallery




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Welcome to the Taneatua Gallery

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Te Marunui Hotene is the current artist in residence at Taneatua's new art gallery. RGP 30Apr15 - Exhibiting artist Te Marunui Hotene. RGP 30Apr15 - ARTIST: Te Marunui Hotene is the current ar

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Ko tenei taku marae ko Taneatua!

*Creativity is the key!*
"Knowledge is the accumulation of events!
Intelligence is the ability to recall knowledge!

Wisdom is the utilisation of
Intelligence under goodwill!

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By Maiki Sherman
Tuesday 30 December 2014
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

While one of the oldest houses in Taneatua may be run down now, it will soon house some of the area's most beautiful art works.

Laurence Hughes says, “I drove past one day and saw this house and thought rather than let it fall down and go to rack and ruin it might be a good place for somebody to exhibit some stuff, I do a bit of hard stone carving and thought that would be alright.”

Laurence Hughes, who bought the house, says the idea is to set up a space for Tūhoe artists as well as inspire local youth. 

“I can see there's already a bit of local art on the walls? Well yeah it was vacant for a while Maiki but you never know they might start like that and end up a Picaso.”

Tūhoe artist Tame Iti says there are certainly many in the area who will benefit from the space.

He says, “There have been a number of us who have been involved in arts for a long time including Carly Rangiaho, Mihihia Davis, a lot of women. Stone carving, wood carving, all sorts of art. “

The hope is the art space will inject more life into the Taneatua community, and they're hoping to tap into those visitors who come to check out the new Tūhoe hub, Te Urutaumatua.

Tame says, “Many of us have had exhibitions which are mostly out of town so perhaps this is a way in which we can boost the Taneatua economy.”

There's clearly plenty of work ahead to fix and tidy up the place but what's even clearer is the passion to make this dream a reality.

Laurence says, “Not ideas about making heaps of money, just ideas about giving some down trodden poor artist a little break. Who knows, he might move on to bigger things from here.”

The hope is to have the art space opened in the New Year, before the Tuhoe Ahurei festival in Easter.

Gallery part of Tuhoe growth


Tame Iti has created a space to encourage conversation.

Throughout his years as an artist, activist, performer, Iron Maori and political candidate, Tame has always lived Tuhoe, so it comes as no surprise this space sits just off the main road through Taneatua.

To some, Taneatua's new Community Art Gallery may be nothing more than a run-down old villa tucked behind a store, but there's something that beckons you to the place. It could be because Tame is sitting on the porch welcoming people in, or the oddity of a bright orange rectangle of paint at the front door with the word 'chur' written within.

Past the door and on the walls are works from Te Marunui Hotene as part of his Chur exhibition, the second exhibition of the Taneatua Community Art Gallery.

Chur, according to Te Marunui (a former Trident High School student), is a common colloquial term in New Zealand.

Its meaning remains ambiguous, although it can be a form of greeting.

In his fifth and honours year of an arts degree, Te Marunui says he held his first exhibition in Hamilton last year and has had a pretty full schedule since.

"Since before the exhibition opened on April 16, I've been working at the Taneatua Gallery and also travelling back and forth to Hamilton for my studies." He said "art" left on the walls of the gallery by local youngsters when the house sat empty for a spell sat alongside, above and underneath his work but mixed well with the themes and narratives he wanted to discuss with Chur.

"What's more ruthless is these youngsters used words that I didn't have the guts to use."

Te Marunui's works are bold and colourful, lit by natural light that comes in through the windows and through the holes in the walls. There are no seats except for one green plastic chair, and recent rain has left puddles on the floor.

"But it's what I wanted," Tame said. "This is a place within Tuhoe where artists, whether they sculpt, paint, photograph or moko, can exhibit, converse and share."

The house was once owned by the Wilson whanau of Ruatoki but was recently bought by a Taneatua local who approached Tame about using it for an art gallery.

Following the Chur exhibition that concludes on May 7, Tame has two international photographers lined up for the next two exhibitions. The gallery is booked well into 2016.

"In October, we'll be holding an exhibition and art sale to commemorate the 2007 police raids. I'm hoping all the artists who supported me and raised funds during my court of appeal will provide work for the exhibition. Works will be on display for two weeks before an auction is held."

Funds raised will be used to upgrade the gallery, although he has no intention of making it new. "The gallery lets an artist create a distraction with their work instead of spectators looking at the holes. When we came into the house, we thought we would go with it in its current form and let the words and poetry left by our youngsters, and the wear and tear of life, remain."

He said the gallery, as part of Te Uru Taumatua, was part of the new growth of the Tuhoe nation and Ngai Tuhoe.

- Whakatane News

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