New Art Group Repurposes Old Fire Station

Press Release - The Informer - 26.09.2019

NgArti is a newly formed Mercury Bay art group which is transforming the old fire station in Monk Street into a pop up art gallery – the ArtStation. 

Its inaugural show will be an exciting combination of one individual and two group exhibitions. It will be the debut of Wharekaho artist Peter Matai Johnston, (Ngati Hei) with his work Swapped my lands for blankets showing alongside a visiting exhibition from Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne, via New York and the Calder and Lawson gallery, Waikato University; He Tirohanga ki Tai - Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. A collaborative display of work by well-known local and national artists under the banner This is Us complements the exhibition. 

NgArti member Isabel Gilbert Palmer explains, “When I discovered Peter’s powerful work I knew he needed a platform to present it and when a group of us visited He Tirohanga ki Tai exhibition in Hamilton, the idea of bringing them together led to this exciting venture”. 

“We established NgArti to present three different exhibitions under one roof and the timing is perfect during the TUIA 250 commemorations when there will be many conversations about discovery, encounters, new voices and new stories.”  

“The building is ideal with its proximity to Taylor’s Mistake and the new plaza area, which we hope will attract many visitors. Our thanks go to Jon Marston, TCDC Property and Facilities Manager and Kirsten Richmond, TCDC Event Coordinator” for their generous support. 

Currently used as the Ray White Real Estate auction room and recently also the base for Dempsey Wood Ltd during the town centre upgrade, the ArtStation will be open from October 15 till 28 and during The Tuia Stage free public event on Saturday 19th. 

NgArti artists in the pop up This is Us exhibition space features internationally recognised Otama artist Michael Smither and other local artists including Craig and Jude Brochas, David Bryant, Noriko Oki, Estelle Withy, Phillip Fickling, Mara Hermanson,  Martinus Sarangapany and Raewyn Hildreth. 

The visiting exhibition, He Tirohanga ki Tai, includes work from nationally known artists Robyn Kahukiwa, Derek Lardelli, Rachael Rakena, Kali Spitzer, Tina Ngata, Charlotte Graham, Tawera Tahuri, Israel Tangaroa Birch, Johnny Moetara, Emma Kitson and Numa MacKenzie. 

For more information please contact Isabel Gilbert Palmer 

He rae ki te rae, he ihu ki te ihu,
Te hau ka rere, te ha ka tau

A meeting of peoples, a mixing of cultures,
a blending of heritage, a sharing of future