The Wairau Māori Art Gallery, will be the world’s first contemporary gallery dedicated to Māori artists whose exhibitions will be curated by professional Māori curators. This gallery is for the permanent promotion of indigenous art in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The name Wairau is the translation of ‘one hundred waters’ in Te Reo Māori, the same meaning as ‘Hundertwasser’ in English.
The Wairau Māori Art Gallery will have three to four exhibitions a year by high quality Māori artists whose works will be on loan from the country’s leading public art galleries, Te Papa Tongarewa, The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and the Whangarei Art Museum, as well as from private collections and from artists.
The Wairau Māori Art Gallery Charitable Trust was formally established in 2016 although worked as an advisory panel since 2012. It is made up of Māori who are Kuia and Kaumatua, artists, scholars and art experts.
They will work cooperatively with the Whangarei Art Museum and the Hundertwasser Art Centre in bringing the very best of contemporary Māori art to Whangarei. The development of the Hihiaua Cultural Centre will add further to the Town Basin as an important cultural precinct with a distinctive Māori component.
Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa.
Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.
“Māori artists of the highest standing, recognised by their peers in national and international forums, will exhibit their work. Imagine how exciting it will be to know that there is one place in Aotearoa, New Zealand where contemporary Māori artwork will always permanently be able to be seen by the people of Te Tai Tokerau, of Aotearoa and the world beyond”.
— Chairman of the Board, Elizabeth Ellis