Ngā mihi

In July the Friends were treated to some wonderful talks. We spent a fascinating morning at Solander Gallery, hearing from visiting international artist Danielle Creenaune about how she creates her unique and beautiful wood lithography, or Mokulito, prints. And visiting archaeologist Tony O’Connor introduced us to the now little-known Phoenicians, who gained their name became of the much-prized purple cloth they produced. In antiquity the Phoenicians were hugely influential traders around Mediterranean, until their great city of Carthage was destroyed by the Romans and North Africa became absorbed into the Empire. Tony revealed the elegant villas of the Roman settlers, who adorned their floors and walls with the exquisite coloured-stone mosaics – sometimes depicting rather gruesome scenes.

The following weekend, we heard from Graham Leonard of GNS on the research behind the creation of Te Taiao’s fascinating, though somewhat unnerving, simulation of the Taupo Volcanic Zone eruptions, and from Caroline Little, GNS Science, about the GeoNet process that records earthquakes around the country, which you can also explore in Te Taiao’s interactive earthquake display.

The new Te Taiao Nature Space exhibitions continue to receive enthusiastic reviews, drawing over 75,000 visitors in the first month of opening alone. Have you pushed the buttons in the Nest yet, and not only heard the bird calls, but smelt their own distinctive scent?

Coming up we have some wonderful treats for art and textile lovers. On Tuesday 20 August, join us as Friends’ members Joji Jacob and Shani Pillai guide us through the fabulous textiles and colours of India; and make sure to diary the evening of 30 August to meet Te Papa’s new Modern Art Curator Lizzie Bisley, and explore the fabulous Gordon Walters – New Vision. You can find more information and make a booking here.

And like me, I am sure you are intrigued by the title of Te Papa’s new summer exhibition – Wonderland, which will open on 7 December. Watch this space for more details to follow for the Friends preview.

Further exciting events and visits will be coming up over the next few months, so look out for our newsletter and make sure you don’t miss out. If an event is booked out, please do get in touch with the Office, as sometimes we are able to offer a second event.

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay