• Fiona Pardington

Fiona Pardington is represented by STARKWHITE.

STARKWHITE are co-currently showing TIKI: Orphans of Māoriland by Pardington at their gallery, presenting unusual, mysterious objects from the Wellcome Collection in London. For more details, search STARKWHITE on ArtNow.

This June, historic Alberton will host a display of photographs and a site-specific installation by celebrated New Zealand artist Fiona Pardington. Invited by Alberton/Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga to create an exhibition for the Auckland Festival of Photography 2019, the artist has brought together works that speak of what is precious and valued.

Titled Taku Toi Kahurangi / My Precious Jewel, the exhibition will present photographs of taonga Māori in Alberton’s opulent ballroom, an elegantly furnished parlour in the 1863 homestead which along with the domestic interiors of its other rooms and outbuildings, presents a narrative of our colonial past.

The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see taonga/ treasures of two cultures together and re-presented from the viewpoint of one of New Zealand’s most celebrated artists. As the treasures of Te Ao Māori and those from Alberton's collection meet, Māori and Pakeha histories intertwine and we are invited to reflect on the interwoven indigenous and European histories of Auckland and wider Aotearoa-New Zealand.

‘As a Ngāi Tahu artist, I constantly return to record taonga Māori. I reach into the past revealing pre-existing cultural integrity, Māori lifeways and spiritual power of the indigenous people of Aotearoa. This exhibition will allow taonga Māori and tikanga Māori to proudly take their place at Alberton, a symbol of Auckland’s colonial past, and korero with its own precious collection. Māori and Pakeha have very different understandings of and relationship to objects, but the exhibition will explore what we share: how such treasures reflect on and celebrate the brevity of a life and the objects that survive us’, Pardington comments.

Photographs will be accompanied by a bespoke installation created by the artist in an already in situ 19th century display cabinet/museum vitrine. Selecting objects and artefacts from Alberton’s collection relating to the house’s former inhabitants and the multi-layered histories of its site, the installation will be joined by treasures from her personal collection.

Museums, archives, and historic places are both repositories of stories and versions of history that Pardington finds irresistible. Her way of working breathes life into inanimate objects, achieving what she describes as 'a radiant point of encounter – a punctum or a tear in the real from out of which steps a life revived, reconstituted or transubstantiated'. Pardington’s practice considers the complexities of interaction - the fissures and frictions of culture, colonialism, dialogue, and our collective psyche.

Learn more about Fiona Pardington's artistic practice in a free Artist Talk, delving into the themes behind her striking images, at Alberton at 1pm on Sunday 9th June. The talk will be followed by tea & scones. All welcome, no bookings required.

Taku Toi Kahurangi / My Precious Jewel is presented by Alberton - Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Starkwhite, Auckland, with the support of the Albert-Eden Local Board.

Opening Hours

  • Open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm


  • 100 Mt Albert Road
  • Mt Albert, Auckland