• Teuane Tibbo, Ani O’Neill, Salome Tanuvasa

It was a dream that the stars were falling which prompted Teuane Tibbo to begin painting in the 1960s, quickly rising to prominence in Auckland’s art scene. She worked prolifically through the 1960s and 70s, painting scenes of her youth in Sāmoa from photographs and memories, and still lifes of flowers plucked from her garden.

Stars start falling puts Tibbo’s paintings from the 60s and 70s into conversation with work made by Ani O’Neill in 1999 and new commissions by Salome Tanuvasa, stretching more than 50 years of artistic practice. The artists’ shared sensitivity toward the conditions under which, and locations where, art is made give a complex view of the shifting landscape of Pacific life in Aotearoa over the last half century.

A space to dream, a space to remember, a space to work, a space to make connections. Stars start falling brings together work that examines processes of memory, learning, and knowledge as responses to the artists’ engagement with the everyday and the extraordinary. Made in the garden, around the kitchen table; in a moment stolen in the dark of night, or as the duties of domestic life continue to tick along in the background, the artworks in this exhibition examine the cultural, social and political imaginations that shape our relationship to place.


Teuane Tibbo was born in Sāmoa in 1895. In 1926 she moved to Fiji and in 1945 settled in Auckland. Tibbo began painting in the 1960s and quickly became a prominent figure in Auckland’s art scene. In 1964 she became the first Pacific Island artist to have a show at a dealer gallery in New Zealand with her exhibition Teuane Tibbo at the Uptown Gallery, Auckland. Tibbo died in 1984, aged 91. Since her death she has been included in a number of significant surveys of Pacific art and in 2001 was the subject of the retrospective Keep it in the Heart: The Paintings of Teuane Tibbo at Lopdell House, Auckland.

Ani O’Neill was born in Auckland in 1971. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1994 and has exhibited widely in Aotearoa and internationally since. O’Neill’s work often references skills and techniques passed down from her Cook Island grandmother, drawing on the unique histories and forms of knowledge which are central to art forms like tivaevae, embroidery, sewing and crochet. For the last decade she has lived and worked between Auckland and Rarotonga.

Salome Tanuvasa is a Samoan-Tongan artist based in Auckland. She completed her Masters in Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2014, followed by a Diploma in Secondary Teaching. Her work crosses a variety of mediums including moving image, drawing, photography and sculpture. It is about her immediate surroundings and often reflects the environments she is in at that time, drawing attention to wider issues among New Zealand-based Pacific people.

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm


  • 42 Queen Street
  • Ngāmotu, New Plymouth