Read an introduction to this learning resource, and the artwork that inspired it.

From the Past, for Tomorrow is a teaching resource that uses contemporary art as a launchpad to consider identity, the narratives of history, and the transformative power of contemporary art.

From the Past, for Tomorrow emphasises local, place-based approaches, supports the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories draft curriculum, and also articulates integrated approaches across the Visual Arts, Technology, and Health and PE learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum. The inquiry approach is of particular relevance to teachers and learners between Years 4–10.

in Pursuit of Venus [Infected] by Lisa Reihana is the resource’s cornerstone provocation. This masterful artwork re-imagines encounter history from multiple Pacific perspectives and is being shown at Te Papa as part of the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts. While the resource is timed to support the exhibition at Te Papa, it is designed to be evergreen and accessible across the country.

We hope you find this a useful resource for developing relevant, integrated, and future-focused learning experiences within your context.

Ngā mihi maioha,

Pamela Streeter, Head of Learning


Thanks to Sarah Hopkinson for leading the project, and to Te Papa staff Pamela Streeter (Head of Learning Innovation), Puawai Cairns (Director Audience and Insight), Megan Tamati-Quennell (Curator Modern & Contemporary Māori & Indigenous Art), Nina Tonga (Curator Contemporary Art), Rebecca Rice (Curator Historical New Zealand Art), Daniel Crichton-Rouse (Senior Digital Editor), and Katie Fordyce (Media and Image Researcher). We would also like to thank the team at Creative New Zealand, especially Cassandra Wilson, Spencer Levine (resource designer), Te Kahureremoa Taumata (for the exemplar images within the resource), and Chevron Hassett.

Thanks also to the teachers and educators who contributed to the development of this resource – the Learning Innovation team at Te Papa, Alice Alva and the Wellington Art Teachers Association, Steve Watters, Ricky Prebble, Mary Va’a, Kailey Carruthers, Caroline Lockyer, and France Bryson.