Hurihia tō aroaro ki te rā tukuna tō ātārangi kia taka ki muri i a koe

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you

The above whakataukī encourages us to embrace a positive mindset and move forward in the face of adversity or change. It’s poignant because today we have announced new dates for Escape.

Our little festival of big ideas will now take place from 12 October 2022, and will include a readers and writers weekend, schools festival and live performances as part of an expanded 2022 Escape programme.

We realise the date change is probably expected, but it has still been a difficult decision. Given the ongoing uncertainty around how long the red light setting will remain in place within the Government’s COVID Protection Framework, and the direction of the current Omicron outbreak, we must prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all involved. We need to look after our artists, staff, sponsors, suppliers, venue partners and, of course, our audiences. While we sincerely hope that the worst of the current Omicron wave will be over by our initial Escape date in June, the major commitments needed to be made by us now in order to produce the Festival means it would be irresponsible to proceed in June while the landscape is still so uncertain.

We also want to be sure that as many people as possible will get the chance to experience the wisdom and brilliance of the superb writers, thinkers and performers in the 2022 programme.

The line-up for Escape will be announced in August. Until then, be safe, be kind, be well…and well-read.

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
- Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Ahurei Toi o Tauranga Moana, the Tauranga Arts Festival Trust’s new trustees Catherine Harold, Toni Henderson and aspiring trustee Britt Ivill. We look forward to drawing upon your experience, wisdom and passion for Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty. As we collaborate with you and our partners to continue our work in expanding minds, delighting audiences and building regional visitation by delivering arts and literary experiences to people in all corners of our community.

Ngā mihi nui to outgoing trustees Bob Sutton and Ian Thomas - we farewell you with respect, aroha, and sincere thanks for your mahi throughout your tenures but especially in the last two, tumultuous years. You helped steady the ship and navigate some very choppy waves. We wish you all the very best.

Te Manawataki o Mauao
There is still time to experience the utterly mesmerising and truly mindful Tauranga Arts Festival experience, Te Manawataki o Mauao. This meditative and immersive hikoi around Mauao was created by renowned musician Riki Gooch in collaboration with Sonicity, and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Mauao Trust, to uncover the hidden treasures of our majestic maunga.

Mauao is so much more than that “spot up the top” made especially famous in recent years by Instagrammers across the world. The landscape, topography and mythology are a one-of-a-kind experience, rooted in place. Our place.

Grab your phone, headphones and download the app for a uniquely personal experience. The app responds to your geolocation, so take any track up the maunga and let the original music and soundscape evoke land and skies, and be one with the crashing waves of the ocean.

“So special. The weather was moody and there was so much wildlife, including a seal rolling in the sea. I have learnt some of the history of the maunga so to hear sounds of fire crackling of where the Pa site would have been and water for the stream etc, just mesmerising. Congratulations, what a gift to the community.” - Sonya Korohina

“A beautiful connective morning walking around Mauao solo (by choice) enjoying the sweet smells of the ngāhere, observing and identifying rongoa and being fully immersed in the rhythmic sound of Te Manawataki o Mauao. A full and moving sensory experience.” - Grace Hakaria

A Death of Prosperity
Darcell Apelu, A Death of Prosperity, 2021, water, timber, acrylic. Co-commissioned by Supercut Projects a Tauranga Art Gallery. Courtesy of artist. Image: Erin Cave.

Mount Maunganui Artist Darcell Apelu’s breath-taking new commission, A Death of Prosperity, remains at Tauranga Art Gallery until 17 April.

Drawing on her research in Niue at the Lafaiki Residency and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the United Kingdom (2019), this brilliant, statement sculpture was specially produced for Tauranga Art Gallery’s eight-metre-high atrium space. Apelu considers the various promises of prosperity that drew waves of migrants to Aotearoa. It is both a satirical monument to colonisation and a functioning fountain, complete with terraced sections designed to continually channel the water down the sculpture in trickling cascades.

First presented in 2020 by Te Tuhi in Tāmaki Makaurau, this upscaled presentation of A Death of Prosperity by one of the next generation of Pasifika artists was developed for the Tauranga Arts Festival by Supercut Projects in partnership with Tauranga Art Gallery and is funded by Creative New Zealand. It can also be found on Supercut Projects’ free-to-download CITY ART WALK app.

Your Festival Team