• Kate Te Ao

We drank the ocean, we ate the sun enacts a gallery-sized diorama, oriented to the street front windows of Newtown’s Twentysix Gallery. The exhibition considers the potential of installation as an idea made physical. Rather than a didactic expression of ideas, Kate Te Ao’s work attempts to open territory for speculation and imagination.

The work within We drank the ocean, we ate the sun grew from a simple quilting pattern to encompass large scale, bleached and dyed fabric plains. Tensile support structures to pitch fabrics in relation to one another and the space. The work could be symbolic of the sky, the land and the space between them. A sentry, a dying sun, the last tī kōuka and the stars.

Kate Te Ao is an emerging artist who lives and works in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She completed her Masters of Fine Art degree at Toi Rauwharangi College of Creative Arts in 2022. Her first exhibition, Before at The Engine Room was presented in partial fulfilment of this degree. Te Ao’s exegesis entitled Make it small, the house of the big idea contended with colonial history, Pākehātanga, decolonisation and what Moana Jackson suggests we might call restoration. She has also published writing in Drain magazine.


  • Sat/Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed 10 – 4
  • Thurs/Fri 12 – 6


  • 26 Constable Street
  • Newtown
  • Wellington 6021
  • New Zealand