17 December 2016 - 19 February 2017


Tamatea – Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound celebrates artistic excellence and depicts a  unique New Zealand environment. The combination of artworks showcased in this exhibition illustrates the experiences of noted national artists and their strikingly personal and insightful responses to Fiordland.


The central purpose of the project is to share diverse talents from a significant pool of New Zealand artists, raise awareness of this monumentally special place, and to support the ongoing conservation efforts to preserve the pristine and unique ecosystem of Fiordland.


In winter 2014 and summer 2015, the Department of Conservation (DOC) invited two teams of artists to discover Tamatea/Dusky Sound for themselves. In two separate expeditions into southern Fiordland, 26 New Zealand artists were transported into the waters of Tamatea. They were tasked to connect people with this very special and remote area and offer a window into a largely unseen environment.


Showcasing multifaceted perspectives of this remote environment from a culturally diverse group of artists, Tamatea is revealed to us through painting, photography, poetry, traditional Māori carving, contemporary Māori weaving, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, waiata, and film-making.

Tamatea – Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound consists of over 60 original works by some of New Zealand’s most significant artists and emerging talent.


These artists include:


Ken Bradley, Nigel Brown, Brian Carmody, Ginney Deavoll, Janet de Wagt, Cheree Te Orangaroa Downes, Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Denise Hunter, Simon Kaan, Gerda Leenards, Euan Macleod, Paul McCredie, Cilla McQueen, Braydon Moloney, Jo Ogier, Craig Potton, John Z Robinson, Irene Mura Schroder, Bubba Thompson, Elizabeth Thomson, John Walsh, Marilynn Webb, Robin White, Jane Zusters


Tamatea is an area rich in traditional stories and holds special significance for local iwi today. The significance of Tamatea for iwi, and the histories of this environment and its encounters, is a central aspect of the exhibition. The project has been developed in close partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (the tribal council).


This important exhibition provides the opportunity for visitors to see, hear, and explore Tamatea through each artist’s eyes. The artists are a collection of people who have responded to a situation and place, and this is the essence of their work. Tamatea – Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound will continue to demonstrate to the next generation of Southlanders just how unique the environment is in Fiordland. This is an authentic, high-quality exhibition that has clear benefits for all New Zealanders, for visual arts practice in this country, and for the beautiful and vulnerable ecosystem of Tamatea.