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Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata is a a solo exhibition of new work by Brett Graham (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Tainui) and a cautionary tale about human endeavour in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In 2018 Graham spent six weeks in Taranaki as the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s artist-in-residence. Connecting with tangata whenua and his extended whānau, Graham researched the history of the relationship between Taranaki and Tainui Māori, focussing on the pact of solidarity forged during the New Zealand Wars, a relationship known today as Te Kīwai o te Kete. 

Tai Moana Tai Tangata conjures up the territories held between Taranaki and Tainui Māori. Defined by the black sands of Te Uru (the west coast), this area reaches from Manukau in the north to Ohawe in the south. This landscape is marked by monuments that open portals to the past and cast the lessons learned by our ancestors into the future. These prophetic visions forecast a dark world corrupted by human endeavour and issue a grave warning in the present.

This accompanying catalogue, led by exhibition curator, Anna-Marie White (Te Ātiawa) and designed by Neil Pardington (Ngai Tahi, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāti Waewae), contextualises this new body of work in relation to Graham’s practice, to produce the most comprehensive resource on this artist, along with commissioned responses from Darcy Nicholas (Te Ātiawa), and Dr Nancy Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache). Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata captures the 2020-21 exhibition at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, significantly extending the themes, narratives and histories captured by the artist in that standout exhibition. 

  • Publication date: December 2021
  • Design: Neil Pardington
  • Copy edit: Suzette Goldsmith
  • Contributors: Brett Graham, Anna-Marie White, Hanahiva Rose, Te Ingo Ngaia, Darcy Nicholas, Nancy Marie Mithlo, Neil Pardington.
  • Hardcover book
  • 148 pages
  • Measures approximately 28.7cm x 22cm
  • ISBN: 978-1-98-854314-7