Pāhū (to burst, explode, pop) is the second suite of artworks to be installed at Te Ara Ātea.
In this exhibition five artists respond to the multi-use nature of Te Ara Ātea with an air of mischief. Visitors
encounter works in unexpected places, as colour and form explode from the wall, the ceiling, or the
confines of glass cabinets.
Works by Judy Darragh, Janna van Hasselt, and Miranda Parkes celebrate colour and materiality. Canvas
and clay take on organic, bodily forms redefining traditional understandings of painting and ceramics. A
new commission from Darragh, Lunge, forms a dropping silhouette as it hangs from the ceiling. A collection
of recycled plastics threaten to burst through strained material.
Clara Wells and Turumeke Harrington have responded directly to this site in the development of new
works. Wells’ The Search and the Return spans 20 meters of curved wall from the main entrance. Animated
digitally and by hand, organic forms swim and swell across an ethereal background. Informed by Ngāi te
Ruahikihiki cultural narratives and taonga species such as pātiki (flounder) and tī kōuka (cabbage tree),
Harrington’s work Hei Aho (Set Piece) acts as a place marker. Like the tī kōuka tree was used by her Ngāi
Tahu tīpuna for wayfinding across the Canterbury Plains, Harrington’s work is a glowing beacon in the first
floor window of Te Ara Ātea.