Aratoi Multi-Media Water Exhibitions

Sam Ludden's ceramic eels form a stunning focal point for this exhibition

Water is the theme of two major multi-media exhibitions at Aratoi on now. A topic of huge interest just now these exhibitions are supported by talks by artists and a school holiday programme.

WAI - Manga Maha, Awa Kotahi | One River, Many Streams (until May 26)

Reconnecting the Wairarapa community with its waterways through art:

  • 80+ hand-sculpted ceramic eels swim along a 5m-long stream in the gallery and negotiate a wall
  • an installation of 400+ botanical specimens and items found along waterways 
  • a meditative video of a river
  • a soundscape that includes recordings from Antarctica and Kahungunu philosophy
  • eight large-scale photograms of South Island glaciers
  • a design inspired by a manhole cover
  • a new map showing Masterton's 15 streams, one of which has an unknown name!

Artists and participants include Sam Ludden, Siv B. Fjaerestad, Denise Batchelor, Jonathan Kay, Anna-Marie Kingsley, Gareth Winter, Cody Field, Ra Smith, Warren Maxwell, Lisa Donaldson, Joe Potangaroa, Amber McEwan, Kirsten Browne, Tony Garstang and Ngataiharuru Taepa.

WATER\WAY - Thirteen artists explore the rivers and lakes of Aotearoa
13 April until 4 August 2019

This exhibition considers the cultural, conceptual and imaginative qualities of our natural water resources and their crucial role in the well-being of communities.

Bringing together many voices, experiences and narratives relating to our rivers and lakes the exhibition is a conversation about how we might go forward with care and wisdom. 

Curated by Bruce Foster and Gregory O'Brien. Thirteen national artists: Jacqui Colley, Phil Dadson, Bing Dawe, Bruce Foster, Brett Graham, Ross Hemera, Euan Macleod, Gregory O'Brien, Jenna Packer, Dani Terrizzi, Elizabeth Thomson, Peter Trevelyan and Kate Woods

WATER\WAY Free Public Talk 
Sunday 26 May from 10.30am at Aratoi
With Gregory O'Brien, Bruce Foster and several artists

Arts + Climate Innovation Roadshow  (by TrackZero wtih Aratoi)
Sunday 26 May from 2-4pm
With Prof. James Renwick, Dr Mike Joy, Sam Ludden, Rawiri Smith, Jade Waterford and Gareth Winter

Explore working with the power of the arts to inspire climate action - the biggest cultural challenge of our time.

Entry to the talks is free. Get your tickets here.

Educational Programmes
Alongside WAI and WATER\WAY Aratoi is running a special School Holiday Programme from 16-18 April. Find out all the details here

Also a free educational programme from Term 2 (email:, and Sam Ludden will be at the museum for fun pop-up activities throughout the show!

Aratoi | Wairarapa Museum of Art & History
Cnr Bruce and Dixon Street
open 7 days from 10am to 4pm
+64 6 370 0001