• Soft shell
  • 23 Cheshire St
  • Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
  • Opening Hours
  • Thurs - Sat 10am - 2pm

Jordan Davey-Emms is Te Tuhi’s current curatorial intern, whose curatorial project soft shell is inhabiting Te Tuhi’s Parnell Project Space. until March 2025.

The name soft shell references the tender bodies of crayfish and other crustaceans, revealed when their hard shells have been cast off to allow for growth. Jordan sees the internship as a similar short period for growth, located in Parnell where the Waipapa stream used to flow.

Jordan is interested in setting up soft shell as a flexible, friendly structure that supports artistic practice and community building. Soft shell's first project Taura is an experiment in enabling artist-to-artist exchange that looks to establish soft shell as a site for activity and exchange.

The project revolves around taura (rope) made from tī kōuka (cabbage tree) fibre as both a guiding metaphor and material focus. Taura presents an opportunity for Brook Konia (Ngāti Porou, Kōtimana, Pākehā) and Louie Zalk-Neale (Ngāi Te Rangi, Pākehā), two artists who have been working intensively with tī kōuka to cross over like strands of rope and spend time in wānanga. The project will emerge over a series of activities at soft shell, underpinned by a residency involving the two artists.

The residency will be Louie and Brook’s first chance to reconnect since 2022. Taura gives these artists space to consider the overlaps in their distinct practices, generate new work, and share what they’ve learned from their mutual collaborator tī koūka in two years of rangahau (research). Later in the project, other artists engaged in mahi taura will be invited in for a day of knowledge exchange and togetherness.

Visitors are warmly invited to view traces of Brook and Louie’s residency at soft shell from 10am – 2pm on select weekends in July. Drop in to see the new works, make rope, and add to soft shell’s collaborative taura workbook. These open weekends are suitable for all ages and free to attend. No bookings are required.

Open Dates: 10am – 2pm / Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 July 10am – 2pm / Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 July 10am – 2pm / Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July

Taura is also open to view on weekdays by appointment, from Wednesday 26 June – Friday 26 July.
Email softshellparnell@gmail.com to book.

To stay up to date with future events and exhibitions at soft shell, follow @soft_shell_parnell on Instagram, or sign up to the mailing list here.

Jordan Davey-Emms is an artist and curator who ran Wormhole in Edgecumbe, Whakatāne. She was a founding member of the Kauae Raro Research Collective (2020 - 2022) and the winner of the 2017 Glaister Ennor Award at Sanderson Contemporary Art. Jordan is interested in play, process, place, ecologies, and belonging. Her writing can be found in Plates Journal, Vernacular, and on Wormhole's website.