Adorned
Whakarakei

Adorned brings together paintings, prints, and cultural treasures to explore the art of adornment in Māori and Pacific cultures.

  • When 24 Aug to 26 Feb
  • Where Level 5
  • Cost Free exhibition
  • Type Art

Artists, photographers, and printmakers have pictured Māori and Pacific peoples since the first encounters of British explorer James Cook between 1768 and 1779. Often these artists exaggerated their subjects’ exoticism through careful attempts to detail adornments, including tatau (Samoan customary tattoos) and tā moko (Māori customary tattoos). Into the late 19th century, artists also used taonga (treasures) as props to make their sitters appear ‘authentic’ to European audiences.

See all works featured in Adorned | Whakarakei