1998-2002 past exhibitions Ngā whakaaturanga 1998–2002

Past exhibitions that opened between 1998 and 2002 – from Tūhoe: Children of the mist to The Time Warp.

On this page:

On the Sheep’s Back
Parade
Exhibiting Ourselves
The Time Warp
Mana Pasifika
Te Ātiawa iwi exhibition
Te Aupouri Iwi: People of smoke and flame
Ocean World
Made in New Zealand
Tūhoe: Children of the mist
Jewelled: Adornments from across the Pacific
Henry Moore: Journey through form
Aainaa: Reflections through Indian weddings
Past Presents: Looking into the art collection
The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: The Exhibition

On the Sheep’s Back

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – 23 Apr 2007
Cost: Free entry

From the arrival of the first sheep to the 50 million–strong flock at the end of the 20th century, wool has been a constant part of the country’s economy. On the Sheep’s Back celebrated the familiar by cleverly connecting the lives of New Zealanders to the woollen industry in an often witty and surprising manner.

The exhibition told the story of wool from grass to finished product. The woolshed was the setting for the shearing story – the gangs, the gear, the hard slog, the champion shearers. The magnificent English and French antique furniture collection, known as the Elgar Collection, gave evidence of the wealth of some of the wool growers.

New Zealanders’ creativity with wool was celebrated with an intriguing range of items – from socks for the Great National Sock Appeal during World War I to woollen flowers made by a 15-year-old schoolgirl, kākāhukākāhu Māori cloaks, and tea cosies. The versatile range of manufactured woollen garments connected groups as diverse as Kiwi farmers, fashion models, and castaways. Factory images, processes, and memories of workers showed how garments are made.

Refrigerator on display with a cardboard cutout of a woman next to it

Caption

Installation of Parade exhibition, 1998. Photo by Michael Hall. Te Papa

Parade

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – May 2001
Cost: Free entry

In 1958, Colin McCahon painted his great Northland panels. A year later Fisher and Paykel created the Kelvinator Foodarama 7. A fridge and a painting – both art? Both worthy of a place in our hearts, in our museum? We gave you the chance to decide. Parade put these objects beside each other and stirred up the debate, encouraged connections, tickled your fancy.

Parade was a bold, provocative, and sometimes shocking meeting-place, where the creative genius of New Zealanders across a dizzying variety of fields competed for our attention. Bruce Farr’s boat design skills alongside Ans Westra’s revelatory photographs of Māori life. On one level, a celebration of the things that have made us known in the world; on another, an inquiry into how we came to value certain objects over others; and how certain achievements from the past continued to play a vital role in our understanding of ourselves.

Airline crockery, folk art, fashions we’d like to forget, Goldie paintings. High culture met the stuff of everyday – the good, the bad, and the undecided – in a wonderful walk through New Zealand’s rich and quirky visual history.

As a special component of Parade, and to signal the sort of generous-minded conversation it sought to encourage in visitors, well-known (and not so well-known) New Zealanders chose ten favourite items from the exhibition. These featured along a Choice Trail. Some special objects belonging to each person were also displayed.

Informative and often humorous, Parade had a range of innovative and interactive devices to draw the visitor into the experience. Four Activity Stations attracted adults and children alike. These stations celebrated new ideas and new arrivals to New Zealand. Videos, pull-out drawers, and mechanical interactives engaged and delighted.

There were small treasures, jigsaws, sounds, and mystery touch-objects hidden in holes which started children thinking about how these things related to the exhibition. Children could also make simple versions of objects using clay or potato blocks – activities which could be further explored at the Children’s Discovery Centre, Inspiration Station, which was next door to Parade.

Exhibiting Ourselves

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – 31 Jan 2001
Cost: Free entry

Exhibiting Ourselves explored how New Zealanders have projected a sense of national identity to the rest of the world through major international trade expos.

This exhibition picked up on the dramatic design contrasts seen in the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, London; the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition; the 1940 Dominion Exhibition in Wellington; and the 1992 World Expo in Seville, Spain. Each display had a sense of the bold architectural statements and images from its own particular era. The steel and glass, red velvet and gold of Crystal Palace; the Edwardian archways, pastel colours, and photomurals of Christchurch; the Art Deco curves, neon, and electricity age of Wellington; and the art rock and yacht-sailing imagery of Seville.

The magic of the real and the replica lived in Exhibiting Ourselves. From the remarkable 1851 display of a Maori war pā, modelled by a survivor of the ill-fated attack on Ohaeawai, to the hugely popular replica crown jewels of 1940. The jewels were a powerful symbol of New Zealanders’ love of royalty and all things British.

Queen Victoria exclaimed that Crystal Palace was ‘one of the wonders of the world’. Indeed, many considered it to be a marvellous engineering feat, made from untested materials on a building four times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral. More than six million people visited the exhibition, one where raw and unprocessed New Zealand products and images of its unspoilt imagery sharply contrasted with the surrounding industrial environment.

1906 – these were times of economic and social confidence and certainty. Images of New Zealand’s Premier Richard ‘King Dick’ Seddon and his elaborate royal court regalia featured in Exhibiting Ourselves, together with beautiful Pacific objects. Displays relating to workers’ housing and sweated labour contrasted with male pastimes such as rifle shooting, sports contests, and military manoeuvres. Women were largely depicted as moral and social guardians.

This was an exhibition about national confidence and expression, a natural progression from the two complementary exhibitions: Passports, which examines why, how, and when people came to New Zealand, and On the Sheep’s Back, which portrayed how New Zealanders’ lives were influenced by the wool industry.

The Time Warp

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – 13 Jan 2008
Cost: Charges applied

The Time Warp used high-tech rides and interactives to offer an engaging and entertaining slant on time and life in New Zealand. It had three zones – past, present, and future.

Blastback jolted visitors millions of years back to witness the formation of New Zealand, with both Māori and geological perspectives telling amazing stories of how this country was created.

Future Rush took visitors on a ride to Wellington in 50 years’ time with virtual companion Rima, a girl from the future. Activities included exploring Rima’s interactive house, trying some virtual snowboarding, and then zooming around Wellington in Rima’s futuristic car.

The Present Zone featured virtual experiences of some classic Kiwi outdoor activities such as bungy jumping and dragon boating.

Entrance to the Time Warp. Te Papa

Caption

Entrance to the Time Warp. Te Papa

Mana Pasifika

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – Jun 2007
Cost: Free entry

Mana Pasifika celebrated the cultures of Polynesia and Fiji – their ceremonies, music and dance, food and feasting, costumes and regalia, warfare, sport, and religion. It also explored the impact on New Zealand of these various communities and how living in New Zealand has affected them.

Treasures such as jewellery, weapons, musical instruments, and fine carvings illustrated the rich Pacific past. Also displayed were contemporary items, ranging from a Jonah Lomu phonecard set to Michel Tuffery’s cattle sculpture made from corned beef cans.

Learn how, over the years, Pacific peoples have adopted new materials and blended Pacific and European styles. But objects such as fine mats, tapa, tīvaevae (Cook Island quilts), and Fijian tabua (whale-tooth ornaments) remain at the heart of their cultures, and are as important on ceremonial occasions today as they were a hundred years ago.

Images and stories brought exhibition objects alive. Highlights included the stories of a young New Zealand–born Samoan who had recently served with the New Zealand Army in Bosnia, and a Tongan who was in Guadalcanal during World War II.

Te Ātiawa iwi exhibition

Dates: 14 Feb 1998 – Aug 1999
Cost: Free entry

Te Ātiawa iwi exhibition discussed the legends of the very early people named Te Kāhui Maunga (the Assembly of Mountains) and their association with Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui (the south of the North Island).

The exhibition looked at the 19th century, when Taranaki people travelled south to the Wellington area. It told of the mix of tribes from Tai Hauāuru (the west coast of the North Island) and the rise to prominence of Te Ātiawa leaders in the land sales of 1840, when 90 per cent of the land in Port Nicholson (Pōneke) was sold to the New Zealand Company.

Te Aupouri Iwi: People of smoke and flame

Dates: Aug 1999 – Oct 2001
Cost: Free entry

Te Aupouri Iwi: People of smoke and flame was the iwi exhibition of the tenacious Te Aupouri tribe from the far north of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The exhibition combined vivid images, contemporary art, and remarkable historical facts to tell a gutsy and compelling story. The central theme and motif was a pepehā (poetic chant) of the great chief Tumatahina.

Ocean World

Dates: 1 Jul to 8 Oct 2000

Ocean Planet was a touring exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Environmental Awareness and the National Museum of Natural History (United States).

The 500 square metre exhibition focussed on the exploration of the ocean world through seven themes: Immersion, Ocean Planet, Sea People, Sea Store, Oceans in Peril, Reflections, and Ocean Aotearoa, the Te Papa developed segment. Using models, murals, audio-visual programmes, and computer interactives the exhibition took on a multidisciplinary and multisensory approach.

Ocean Planet was one aspect of the Land Meets Sea sub-project of the Core Project Into Our Landscape. The centrepiece of the New Zealand segment, Ocean Aotearoa, was a 13m model of the Giant Squid.

Made in New Zealand

Dates: 17 Oct 2001 – 13 Apr 2008
Cost: Free entry

Made in New Zealand provided a popular, entertaining general history that traced the stories of our country’s visual culture. It explored almost three centuries of cross-cultural exchange between Māori and newcomers to the land during that time, using works by a wide range of artists and innovators who have either visited or lived in this country.

There were works of historical importance, including sketches by the ships’ artists who voyaged here with Tasman and Cook. Other exhibits marked the beginnings of cultural traffic between Māori and PākehāPākehā non-Māori of European descent. Made in New Zealand also explored our country’s architecture and furniture design, and paid homage to Kiwi music. Local ingenuity was obvious in products like the Jansen guitar, as well as in ground-breaking songs like ‘Poi E’.

Moving into the 20th century, the exhibition examined the influence of controversial artists like James Nairn and Edward Fristrom. Others who featured included Colin McCahon, Rita Angus, and Gordon Walters. Representing more recent times were political works by artists such as Emily Karaka.

Portrait of Captain James Cook, circa 1780, England, by John Webber. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1960. Te Papa (1960-0013-1)

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Portrait of Captain James Cook, circa 1780, England, by John Webber. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1960. Te Papa (1960-0013-1)

Tūhoe: Children of the mist

Dates: Nov 2001 – 1 Nov 2003
Cost: Free entry

Tūhoe moumou kai – We give you our stories 
Tūhoe moumou taonga – We give you our treasures 
Tūhoe moumou tangata ki te pō – We give you our lives

The iwi exhibition partnership with Ngāi Tūhoe, the third in the programme, closed at Te Papa on Saturday 1 November 2003. The closing ceremony was attended by 600 people, mainly from Ngāi Tūhoe. Ngāi Tūhoe contributed to the exhibition content, narratives, and taongataonga treasures. Schools within the Ngāi Tūhoe region also participated, contributing material relevant to the iwi in Te Huka ā Tai, one of Te Papa’s Discovery Centres.

Jewelled: Adornments from across the Pacific

Dates: 3 Nov 2001 – 17 Mar 2002 & 7 Jul – 27 Nov 2005
Cost: Free entry

Jewelled: Adornments from across the Pacific was a journey through the richness and diversity of Pacific adornment – from Papua New Guinea to the Marquesas Islands, from Hawai`i to New Zealand, from traditions of craft thousands of years old to designs of the 21st century.

The precious materials of the Pacific come mostly from living things rather than being metals or gems. Plants and animals are the sources of wood, fibres, shell, feathers, bone, and ivory. Pacific peoples have been making adornments from these materials for several thousand years.

The exhibition contained adornments for the head, neck, waist, hips, arms, wrists, knees, and ankles, as well as ear and nose ornaments. The latter are found throughout the Pacific – piercing has been a Pacific practice for centuries. Men, women, and children all wear jewellery, but in the past it was usually men who dressed up in special finery, including elaborate headdresses, on ceremonial occasions.

However, Pacific jewellery is much more than simple adornment. It can show the status of the wearer. Some ornaments can be worn only by an important person. Others can be worn by anyone, including children. They can also serve as currency of known value.

Jewellery cements bonds between family members or communities. Much of its value lies in its association with those who made it and those who have cared for it. Adornments are cherished as heirlooms – sometimes they are buried with the dead.

Gorget, Papua New Guinea, maker unknown. Gift of Mr J D Hutchin, 1948. Te Papa (FE003783)

Henry Moore: Journey through form

Dates: 23 Feb – 4 Jun 2002
Cost: Free entry

Henry Moore, the great British sculptor who died in 1986 aged 88, is one of the founding figures of modernist art. Once, storms of controversy raged around his large sculptures. These days, they are found in many major cities of the world.

Moore’s art relates to the urban plazas and galleries of modern cities, and also to the English landscapes where some of his very large sculptures are found. The huge works grew from small objects such as bones and stones that he collected and cherished, meditating on their endless combinations of shapes and relationships.

Especially important to Moore was the human body, of which he said, ‘I can always discover new thoughts and ideas based on the human figure.’ Related to this form are works that combine references to helmets, gas masks, warfare, the interiors of the human body, and the shelters of architecture. A central work in the exhibition was the Figure in a Shelter of 1983. Many Wellingtonians will know the sculpture by Moore in the Botanic Gardens, which is the internal figure of this work, without its ‘shelter’.

Henry Moore exhibition, 2002. Te Papa

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Henry Moore: Journey through form, 2002. Te Papa

Aainaa: Reflections through Indian weddings

Dates: 21 Sep 2002 – 26 Sep 2006
Cost: Free entry

Aainaa: Reflections through Indian weddings celebrated the diversity of New Zealand’s Indian communities through the customs and rituals surrounding marriage.

The central theme of Aainaa was the Indian wedding in all its splendour. The exhibition was rich with the jewellery, costumes, food, religious objects, music, and colours that make Indian weddings unique and fascinating. A mandap (wedding structure) featured at the heart of the exhibition and highlighted Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim wedding ceremonies in turn during the course of the show.

The exhibition explored ways in which Indian people here, both immigrants and locally born, identify themselves as Indian, and how they express and maintain their cultures in this country. Fascinating personal stories from a wide range of community members about the introductions, preparations, and ceremonies that make up the whole wedding process were included. They revealed the huge variety of experiences across different generations and religions.

Aainaa: Reflections through Indian weddings. Photograph by Michael Hall. Te Papa

Caption

Aainaa: Reflections through Indian weddings. Photograph by Michael Hall. Te Papa

Past Presents: Looking into the art collection

Dates: 2002–03
Cost: Free entry

Past Presents: Looking into the art collection highlighted the depth and diversity of Te Papa’s art through a twin focus – the history of the collection, and the history of New Zealand’s art over the past 150 years. The origins of works ranged from 16th-century Italy to contemporary New Zealand. The selection of art works displayed included both recognisable favourites and surprising, lesser-known pieces.

The exhibition was centred on five themes:

  • ‘Past masters’ displayed pre-1900 works, encapsulating the period before the opening of the National Art Gallery.
  • ‘New century’ covered art from the early 20th century through to the 1930s.
  • ‘Home ground’ displayed New Zealand modernist works from the 1940s and 1950s.
  • ‘Pacific boundaries’ covered the three decades from 1960, during which the collecting focus turned from the United Kingdom to the USA and the Pacific.
  • ‘Collecting the contemporary’ featured a selection of recent art acquisitions.

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: The Exhibition

Dates: 2002–03
Cost: Charges applied

This exhibition, presented by Te Papa in association with New Line Cinema, offered visitors the opportunity to discover the amazing secrets behind the Lord of the Rings movies.

The exhibition was both interactive and immersive. It gave visitors a unique opportunity to explore the fantastic world created for the film trilogy and the ground-breaking technology behind the movies.

Visitors were transported to Middle-earth, where they could step into the colourful, imaginative world of hobbits, wizards, kings, and warriors. The exhibition featured hundreds of objects from the epic film trilogy, including original costumes, armour, weapons, jewellery, and miniatures.

Immersed in these objects, visitors could explore the ground-breaking technology used in the films, such as computer-generated special effects and animatronics. They could also watch exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, crew, and director.