05 OCT - 04 DEC, 2023

The expansion and urbanisation of Tāmaki Makaurau resulted in the exploitation and mistreatment of the natural world; disregarding the indigenous cultural spirituality of Māori towards landscapes and seascapes. Prior to colonisation, natural bodies of water could be found around the area, including natural springs, the Waihorotiu Stream connecting the sea and the waterfall on Victoria Street. Placed in a colonial urban environment, where we are in danger of losing a meaningful relationship with the natural world, how can an urban art installation connect human, non-human, place (natural and urban), culture and material art?

In revitalising the urban environment, vitality is essentially an interlace of the past, present and future. The continuum between these phases are cyclical, everflowing, where the past exists in the present, and the future holds space for both.

TE AWA, by artists Shan Yu and Janae Van Panahon therefore acts as a decolonising gesture in proposing an urban revitalisation through art, aiming to raise awareness of the lost culture and spiritual history that lay beneath our feet in the city. After the pains and hardships of colonisation and COVID, may we reignite the space once more by bringing people together and most importantly, giving mana and vitality to the lifeless body of water beneath the asphalt and concrete layers of our urban fabric.

TE AWA aims to exhibit the Waihorotiu as it re-emerges and glistens in a tapestry of colour, reflections, acrylic, and strings - representing the energy of the stream and kai that was once gifted by the high-spirited freshwater. It will bring liveliness and strength of the water back into the city as it is displayed in Durham Street. 

Part of ArtWeek in the city centre 2023. 

Image is artist render only. 
Te Awa The Water Changing Lanes

Also at Changing Lanes

Park for $2 per hour, to a maximum of $10 on evenings and weekends at the Victoria St car park. Find out more.

Last updated: 28 August 2023