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Mischief Makers

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Celebrating the playful and disruptive side of Māori and Moana arts, the artists in this exhibition are consummate boundary-crossers, slipping through loopholes and outwitting the confines of constructs. Observation and dualities are their main tools, but it’s humour and absurdity that allows them to sneak past the boundary lines.

In seeking to position play, humour and mischief as Indigenous tools, the exhibition loosely draws inspiration from Trickster discourse as evidence both that mischievous, cheeky and humorous strategies have a long Indigenous history and that mischief can have a transformative intent.

Armed with humour and a sly wink, the artists demonstrate a curiosity and appetite that tests the boundaries of the world, and sometimes, the gallery.

Featured artists: Layne Waerea, Suzanne Tamaki, Christopher Ulutupu and Elisabeth Pointon, Turumeke Harrington, Jessicoco Hansell, Natalie Robertson, Hemi Macgregor and Danny Butt.

Curated by Ioana Gordon-Smith.

Layne Waerea, (Waiting for) Free rain, video still, 2014
Jessicoco Hansell, Aroha Bridge (Honour the treaty), animation still, 2019

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