Over a year of too much weather, artworks radiate outward weather signals and inward presentiments, heat, wind, grief and salt rain. Huarere, the weather, conjures rere, flying, and immersion in the fullness, hua, our saturated atmosphere. Artists give us means to radically imagine meteorological non-beings and other species, while in the midst of human struggles with the ‘one-in-one-hundred-year’ weather events that happen, paradoxically, every few months.
Huarere: Weather Eye, Weather Ear at Te Tuhi is a ‘weather station’, a physical enclosure for six online ‘weather reports’ that took place from Matariki 2022 through Koanga, spring, and Ngahuru, autumn, equinoxes and return us now to Ihu o Hinetakurua, the winter solstice, 2023. The oceanic forces of Te Moana Nui A Kiwa drive our rapid weather and animate the artworks across shorelines from Aotearoa to Tonga, Rarotonga, Samoa and Niue. Winds whisper and scream: kupu, words, tohu, signs, rise and fade within the heated, damp atmospheres of our inundating isles.
Our ‘weather ear’ attunes to sounds of birds and thunder – agitated, flying away – while our ‘weather eye’ alerts our senses, along with scientific instruments of weather observation. When the ‘atmospheric river’ entered our common lexicon, with each successive cyclone or deluge our bodies hooked into aches and scents of rain on the one hand, and the pulsing electronic blobs that creep across rain radars on screens on the other. In this exhibition, hydrophones or cameras reveal the spirits in glacial lakes and sea foams, while diurnal weathers spur the wind-cry of aeolian choirs and the aleatory electronic scores of remote sensors. Many of the artworks are less contained, expository events than un-presentational, ceaselessly rolling onward, rendering us sometimes helpless and sometimes hope-full.
Weather is not just happening to us, we, humans, are happening to the weather. While the rising debt of the climate crisis is not evenly spread amongst all humanity, across the planet we share in innumerable losses: whenua, biome, creatures, people. Huarere: Weather Eye, Weather Ear is Te Tuhi’s contribution to the World Weather Network, a platform connecting 28 arts organisations across the earth to document their collective experience of the new weathers. To signal the presence of this network, we have invited Emirati artist Nujoom Alghanem to present an image and sound work from her documentary film Rain, Honey and Dust (2016). Her work, like a postcard from a different clime, is inscribed with the Emirati experience of endless blazing Summer, full of sounds of a desert landscape, and the agitated bees that maintain life.
→ View the Huarere: Weather Eye, Weather Ear digital programme here
Julieanna Preston, Layne Waerea & Mick Douglas
FORECAST is a collaborative, durational performance writing work that occurs across Te Tuhi’s Reeves Road and Digital Billboards. The work builds on Word Weathers, a 24-hour, online performance for more than 40 writers that welcomed the sequence of dawns as the earth rotated. FORECAST adopts the same pared-back keyboard aesthetic of that performance to collectively predict, anticipate and wilfully imagine what the future of our climate might be. With accumulative and changing text over the course of the five-week installation, the messaging on the billboards aims to provoke the curiosity, concern and bemusement of gallery visitors and road users.
Kōea O Tāwhirimātea – Weather Choir: Voicing the Wind
Collaborating participants and Te Moana Nui a Kiwa locations: Uili Lousi & Kasimea Sika (Kingdom of Tonga); Maina Vai & whānau (Samoa); Pasha Clothier (Parihaka/Taranaki, Aotearoa); James McCarthy (Whakatane, Aotearoa); Phil Dadson (Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa); Dianne Reefman & Ricks Terstappen (Haumoana, Aotearoa); Kelvin Passfield & Paris Tutty (Rarotonga); Mark & Ahi Cross (Liku, Niue).
In early 2022 the Breath of Weather Collective formed to realise a distributed Weather Choir. Collaborators from eight coastal locations, connected by the ocean Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, constructed free-standing outdoor aeolian harp instruments from local materials and DIY harp basics mailed by Dadson. Each of the island hosts captured harmonic, wind-song records of changing daily and seasonal conditions with video and audio by mobile phone over a year: solstice to solstice (2022 –2023). The work embraces all coastal communities affected by climate change within a poetic, present-time capsule of intensifying winds and inundating shorelines. Dadson has devised a new documentary installation to represent the collective voices of Kōea O Tāwhirimātea. Two aoelian harps will also perform continuously from the rooftop of Te Tuhi, creating their own choir of harmonics from the winds circulating across the Tāmaki estuary.
Sun Gate: Ha‘amonga a Maui
Technical crew: James Tapsell-Kururangi, Josh Savieti and Nonga Tutu (camera); live-stream operator Andrew Kennedy
On the Autumn equinox, 21 March 2023, the sun moved north across the celestial equator and day and night were of exactly equal length. This event was marked by the sun piercing through a notch on the limestone-coral trilithon Ha‘amonga a Maui in Eastern Tonga and Kalisolaite ‘Uhila’s body at solar zenith. He sat by the ancient 13th-century gateway from dawn through intense sun, heavy rain and overcast weather for over ten hours, accompanied by a continuous live-stream that radiated around the Earth. The performance binds the path of the sun to our warming atmosphere; the live-cast mends digital flows between Aotearoa and Tonga after the violent eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai on 15 January 2022. The performance documentation premiers in Te Tuhi’s atrium to become part of daily life for passers-by.
The Paul Cullen Archive has invited two artists, J.A. Kennedy and Ammon Ngakuru (a former artist-assistant of Paul Cullen), to reconfigure his 2009 installation, Weather Stations, for the Te Tuhi courtyard. Cullen (1949–2017) initially presented the work as part of Headland Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke Island. The artist created a series of para-functional structures, reminiscent of meteorological rain gauges, made of galvanised steel framing and concrete, hosing, pipes, and glass vitrines, sited on paved sections on a sloping bank. In this reassembled and updated version, the concrete tiles that functioned as the base in the original installation guide the dimensions of a new support structure within Te Tuhi’s courtyard. This plein air artwork is accompanied by three of Cullen’s ink drawings (1976; 2008–2009).
Installation by Maureen Lander with video projection by Denise Bachelor and sound by Stiobhan Lothian
In Ngāpuhi whakapapa the ancestors arrived in Hokianga by sea, their migrating waka assisted on the journey by three great waves: Ngaru-nui, Ngaru-roa and Ngaru-pae-whenua, the last being the wave that lands upon the shore. Ngaru-pae-whenua, the installation, remembers the great wave that carried the waka ashore but is also concerned with the myriad, impending effects of climate change on today's oceans. The suspended harakeke strips hold the incoming wave of foam in projection; are they harbingers of inundation to come?
Wave Skirt, a new artwork, will also be presented from Maureen Lander’s ‘maro’ (apron) series, inspired by the waves that come ashore on Omapere beach, Hokianga, often forming scallops in the sand with their frothy skirts of foam.
MĀKŪ, te hā o Haupapa: Moisture, the breath of Haupapa
Collaborators: Ron Bull (voice); Stefan Marks (programming); Janine Randerson (video); Rachel Shearer (sound); Heather Purdie, glaciologist and scientific advisor, University of Canterbury.
Live data stream courtesy of NIWA | Climate, Freshwater & Ocean Science
Haupapa glacier and the lake at the foot of Aoraki are rapidly shapeshifting. The cracking and melting glacier and lake, Aotearoa’s fastest growing body of water, are present at Te Tuhi through a live cast of mākū, life-giving moisture. These live weather conditions prompt sound and video waves recorded at Haupapa over the last year. Tiny bubbles of ancient breath and atmosphere are pressed inside Haupapa’s glacial ice – including sea breezes, pollens, carbon dioxide and methane, as well as the ash of Australian fires. Instruments of science, audio hydrophones and underwater camera receivers attune us to more-than-human scales of aural and visual knowing and feeling. Voice is woven through the sound and images to gift and acknowledge Kāi Tahu matauraka, words and names of the elemental ancestors.