Ashleigh Taupaki explores Māori connections to place through concepts of indigenous narrative and non-human agency. Working with carefully found/foraged/collected?’ materials, she creates works that manifest ideas of kaitiakitanga (stewardship) and collaboration with natural resources. She depicts places that are significant to her own ancestral origins in Hauraki, and strives to revitalise the stories and knowledge of her people and lands.

On a recent 3-week research trip to Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington Ashleigh explored the South coast (Te Moana o Raukawa) beaches collecting rocks, stones and fragments. She then ground these down forming earth pigments to use for painting three works on paper. By using local natural materials Ashleigh strengthened the connection with the local environment and the whakapapa of the land (whenua).

Ashleigh is currently studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy, specialising in Fine Arts. Her doctoral research looks into Ngāti Hako connections to wetlands, which also critiques colonial histories and occupations, while uplifting their mana as repositories of cultural knowledge and taonga species. Her research and residency trip was sponsored by Te Whare Hera and Enjoy Gallery.


  • Thu 18 Aug


  • 5:30 pm — 7:30 pm


  • Level 1 Mibar Building
  • 85 Victoria Street
  • Te Aro, Wellington 6011