Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now
February 22, 2020 – September 6, 2020
Moana Currents seeks to build understanding of how our place in the Pacific has led to the development of a distinctive Aotearoa identity and to our sense of ourselves. It seeks to help New Zealanders recognise Maualaivao Albert Wendt’s ‘music’.
The exhibition and publication documents how our history of migration and cultural exchange is visible in what we wear and how we adorn ourselves. With the migration of many different people, spread across generations, our identity and self-representation has evolved over time. Who we are and how we dress is a reflection of those journeys both past and present. A dress by Trelise Cooper that harks back to the missionaries, a glamorous gown by Tukua Turia and Karen Walker that has its origins in the sampler, a Neil Adcock hei tiki that can dance, and Steve Hall’s androgynous dress join many other objects such as hats, bags, jewellery and tattoo to show what we look like today.