Signs and Wonders
Exhibition now closed 22 Nov 2003 – 17 Oct 2004
Arts; People and history
Signs and Wonders | He Tohu He Ohorere explores how people express spiritual beliefs and supernatural experiences in visual culture. This major art exhibition contains over 160 works from Te Papa’s collection and is presented as a rich and powerful narrative.
Beginning with an exploration of light and colour, the exhibition moves into a symbolic world of prophesies, visitations, and annunciations, and from there to art works reflecting creation and birth, the apocalypse, death, and the afterlife.
Some of Te Papa’s greatest treasures are included: sacred images by European masters such as Durer, Rembrandt, Cantarini, Blake, Rouault, Matisse, Masson, and Rossetti; and iconic works of art by major New Zealand artists such as Colin McCahon, Rita Angus, Ralph Hotere, Robyn Kahukiwa, Julia Morison, Bill Culbert, Milan Mrkusich, Gretchen Albrecht, Alexis Hunter, Ani O’Neill, Anne Noble, Robin White, and John Pule.
Taonga (treasures) of immense power and significance feature, such as the great mere pounamu (greenstone weapons) Kauwhata and Wehiwehi of Waikato and a chalice (1878) carved by the tohunga whakairo (master carver) Anaha Te Rahui of Ngāti Tarawhai to celebrate peace between peoples.
Also included are sacred objects such as a mediaeval French embroidered crucifix and an eleventh-century Indian granite Ganesh statue.
Signs and Wonders | He Tohu He Ohorere is a major exhibition on themes that touch all people’s lives. Don’t miss this exhibition that features many of New Zealand’s greatest artists, sacred and powerful taonga, and overseas masters.