Tamatea: He Tūtakinga Tuku IhoTamatea: Legacies of Encounter

Ko tā tēnei whakakitenga he whakaatu i tētahi taonga hou, he peita nā William Hodges, e tū tahi ana me ngā taonga nā Ngāi Tahu whānui me ētahi mahinga toi nā Mark Adams rāua ko Colin McCahon. Nō te huinga mai o ēnei taonga, ka kitea ngā waihotanga iho a te ao toi, a ngā iwi, a te ao pūtaiao hoki, i puta mai i te tūtakinga tuatahi a te Māori o te tonga me James Cook.


This exhibition presents a new acquisition, a painting by William Hodges, in conversation with Ngāi Tahu whānui taonga and artworks by Mark Adams and Colin McCahon. Together, they speak to the legacies – artistic, cultural, and scientific – generated by the first meeting of James Cook and southern Māori.

When | Āhea

9 Nov 2019 – 26 Jul 2020

Where | Ki hea

Level 4, Toi Art

Cost | Te utu

Free entry

Accessibility | E wātea ana ki
  • Wheelchair accessible

Find out more about accessibility at Te Papa

“Histories are always made and remade, not in isolated gestures of acting and writing, but in the imagining of acts and the reception of texts.”
– Nicholas Thomas, Cook’s Sites: Revisiting History, 1999

William Hodges was the official artist aboard the Resolution, which spent five weeks at Tamatea (Dusky Sound) in the autumn of 1773. The crew’s stay was marked by a brief, peaceful encounter with southern Māori. First-hand accounts suggest it was amicable and involved mutual curiosity.

The encounter is the subject of a painting by William Hodges, acquired by Te Papa in 2019. This exhibition presents Hodges’ painting in conversation with taonga and artworks. Together, they speak to the legacies – artistic, scientific, and cultural – generated by this first meeting.

Maker unknown, Rākau atua, date unknown, wood. On loan from the Southland Museum & Art Gallery Niho o te Taniwha. Gift of Peter Coutts

Maker unknown, Hoe, date unknown, wood. On loan from the Southland Museum & Art Gallery Niho o te Taniwha on behalf of Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture & Heritage

William Hodges, Waterfall in Dusky Bay with Maori canoe, 1776, oil on panel. Purchased 2019 with assistance from Lottery Grants Board, Tuia Encounters – 250 Fund. Te Papa (2019-0003-1)

Mark Adams, Nine Fathoms Passage, 27.6.2014 – 1.7.2014, version 2. After William Hodges’ ‘Waterfall in Dusky Bay with a Maori canoe’, 1775-7, 2014, photograph, chromogenic print. Image courtesy of the artist. Te Papa (O.048397/A-D to D-D)

William Hodges, A Maori before a Waterfall in Dusky Bay, about 1776, oil on panel. On loan from the Southland Museum & Art Gallery Niho o te Taniwha

Robert Bénard, after William Hodges, Family in Dusky Bay, New Zealand (Famille dans La Baye Dusky (Obscure) de la Nouvelle Zélande), about 1780, engraving. Te Papa (1992‑0035‑1803)

Left: Colin McCahon, Waterfall, about 1964, synthetic polymer paint on board. On loan from Private Collection. Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust

Right: Colin McCahon, Waterfall, about 1964, synthetic polymer paint on board. On loan from Private Collection. Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust

Māhē, maker unknown, date unknown. Te Papa (ME006099)

Unknown artist, after Johann Georg Forster, A fish from New Zealand, about 1777, gouache on vellum. Te Papa (2003-0016-1)

A digital map (pictured here is a screenshot – an interactive map is part of the Tamatea exhibition) restores the original Māori place names to James Cook’s map of Tamatea. They are tangible reminders of the histories and values of Ngāi Tahu whānui. 

These place names have been researched and recorded by Kā Huru Manu, the Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project. Access Kā Huru Manu, the digital Ngāi Tahu Atlas, online at kahurumanu.co.nz

Image: Modified version of Sketch of Dusky Bay in New Zealand. Plate 64. From the Book: Prints to Cook’s Voyages, 1777, by Captain James Cook, Thomas Cadell, William Strahan, William Whitchurch. Gift of Charles Rooking Carter. Te Papa (RB001173/064a)

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