An open invitation from Evening Books has developed into a new experimental art space in Ōtepoti - Tini Whetū Project Space. This new project space is an artist run initiative, facilitated by Piupiu Maya Turei (Wairarapa Moana, Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi). Situated upstairs in the hallway to the Yours offices and Evening Books, the kaupapa of Tini Whetū Project Space draws inspiration from four core sources: the tenacity of Paemanu: Ngāi Tahu Contemporary Visual Arts; kaupapa Māori curatorial foundations; the anarchist praxis of Yours; and the emphasis on the emerging and experimental from Evening Books.
Looking to exhibitions such as Tū atu, tū mai,- he karaka manu ki kā manuhiri by Vicki Lenihan and the ongoing work from Hoea! Gallery, Tini Whetū Project Space aspires to be a joyus, experimental and nourishing place for audiences, artists and kaimahi alike.
The name Tini Whetū Project Space comes from the whakatauki from Rangitāne: "Ko tini whetū ki te rangi, Ko Rangitāne nui ki te whenua." It is Piupiu Maya Turei's hope that a love for art is ignited in many people. Piupiu Maya Tureia is also looking to the book Ngā Tini Whetū: Navigating Māori Futures by Sir Mason Durie as the guiding pukapuka.
The first breaths of Tini Whetū
Tini Whetū Project Space was begun in early 2022 and successfully proposed a project called The Secret Path to Dunedin Dream Brokerage, for their The Platform Projects series. This was an interactive art scavenger hunt held during the April School Holidays. Very well received the project focused on getting tamariki and their whānau adventuring along George Street. You can watch the short documentary on this project here.
In mid 2022, Sophie Davis, who was the curator of COCA Toi Moroki, invited Piupiu to curate an exhibition. This became Gently Ribbed, a solo show of Turumeke Harrington's work Longer Than I Can Remember. Read Connie Brown's column on this exhibition, featured in The Art Paper.