Celebrate Matariki at The Dowse

Author: Katrina Smit, Communication & Relationships Manager

A towering 4 metre high tiki figure made from cardboard, a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon and a star party are all on offer as part of the Matariki Wellington Festival celebrations at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

Matariki events at The Dowse start on Saturday 13 June 2015 with the Māori and Pacific Artists Wikipedia-a-thon. This is an opportunity to help increase the coverage of Māori and Pacific artists by editing and uploading entries on Wikipedia throughout Matariki. Bring your laptop, all levels of experience and knowledge are welcome.

Jump on board a free Art Night bus and catch special late night openings at galleries across the Wellington region on Art Night: Pō Whakaatu Toi on Thursday 2 July 2015. At The Dowse there will be guided tours of the galleries, weaving demonstrations by Veranoa Hetet, floor talks by Séraphine Pick and music by singer-songwriter Ariana Tikao with Alistair Fraser on taonga puoro, and multi-instrumentalist, Ben Lemi Wood (Trinity Roots).

A collaborative event, on 3 July 2015, between The Dowse and Hutt City Libraries is a chance to learn more about the Matariki night sky. Frank Andrews, internationally recognised astronomer, will give a presentation at the War Memorial Library before heading to Dowse Square for a star party to view the sky.

Courtney Johnston, Director of The Dowse says the Matariki Festival is a good time to connect with friends and family and to enjoy the company of others. “The events at The Dowse this Matariki are designed to bring people together. We’re working with the Hutt Art Society and Te Omanga Hospice on an event called Soup’s Up! The Hutt Art Society has made ceramic bowls to be sold for $10 which will be served with soup and bread with all the proceeds going to Te Omanga Hospice. It’s a chance to create a fun event for people to enjoy while strengthening our relationships with these two important community partners.”

A walk through the galleries reveals treasures big and small. Artist Reweti Arapere (Ngāti Raukawa te au ki te Tonga, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Porou) has created the giant tiki figure, Rangimatua (Sky Father), specifically for The Dowse. Keeping Māoritanga relevant for future generations, connecting people to their heritage and each other is central to Arapere’s work that blends street art and customary Māori carving. Reweti will be running workshops at Whānau Day Dowse on Saturday 11 July. There will also be gallery tours, face painting, puppetry and activities for the whole family.

A great way to start the school holidays and to mark the end of the Matariki Festival! For more information click here.


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