A Matariki sculpture trail like no other 

Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust’s Ayesha Kee, Chontelle Hohaia, Julie Paama-Pengelly, Kereama Taepa, Linda Munn at the matARiki Sculpture Trail launch on Monday. Photo: Naera Ohia Photography. 

A Matariki sculpture trail in the city – an Aotearoa exhibition first using augmented reality technology to breathe life into digital artworks by renowned Kiwi artists – is now open to the public at two sites until June 30. 

Presented by Te Tauranga Toi, the matARiki Sculpture Trail – which launched on Monday at both The Strand Reserve in Tauranga and at Te Papa o ngā Manu Porotakataka at Mount Maunganui –offers a unique and interactive experience for families and art enthusiasts alike, says exhibition creator and curator Kereama Taepa. 

“There are seven artists’ work in the sculpture trail, which are Jared Wikeepa, Chris Bailey, Reweti Arapere, Rangituhia Hollis, River Jayden, Julie Paama-Pengelly and myself,” says Kereama following Monday’s launch. 

“This first-of-its-kind exhibition event for Aotearoa provides an opportunity for our digital artists to showcase their mahi in a way that is more in tune with their medium as it uses digital technology to present their digital artwork.” 

Waitī and Waitā 

“Overseas there are a multitude of opportunities like this for digital artists, however, here in Aotearoa they are non-existent…so it’s really about opening up that space and creating that opportunity … and creating that exposure for our digital artists that are actually quite accomplished in this space,” says Kereama. 

With the theme of Matariki – specifically focusing on the twin stars Waitī (freshwater) and Waitā (saltwater) – the trail invites visitors to embark on a journey through augmented reality sculptures. 

Scan codes

Trail-goers simply scan QR codes with a smart device and watch as digital artworks come to life before their eyes. 

Kereama hopes people will interact with the sculptures, learn about their meaning and the stories behind them, “and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of contemporary Māori art”. 

The matARiki Sculpture Trail is a collaborative effort supported by Te Tauranga Toi, Toi Hourua, Tauranga City Council’s Creative Communities Scheme and Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust – a local arts organisation dedicated to nurturing artistic talent in Tauranga Moana. 

What the public will discover on the matARiki Sculpture Trail. Photo: Naera Ohia Photography. 

Kereama encourages people not to miss this groundbreaking opportunity to experience Matariki in a whole new way. “Join the matARiki Sculpture Trail and discover the magic of augmented-reality art.” 

The free matARiki Sculpture Trail is at Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka, Mount Maunganui, and The Strand Reserve, Tauranga CBD, until June 30. 

Or follow the trail on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/matarikisculpturetrail 

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