Tautai Gallery celebrates Moana artists with the new group exhibition, Oh My Ocean 

A new group exhibition curated by Nigel Borell presents a fresh take on the legacy of Moana people and connection to place. 

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust presents Oh My Ocean, bringing together work developed by nine artists during the 2020-2021 Covid-19 lockdowns.

Oh My Ocean is a lighthearted riff on the popular social media phrase ‘Oh My God’, exclaimed in surprise, shock or amazement. The phrase is a play on words, meaning and digital expression, but underneath the jest is a statement about the integral connection between Moana people and the ocean as the centre of one’s world – of one’s identity. 

Curator Nigel Borell says, “Much like the phrase, Oh My Ocean is an exuberant and fresh take on the legacy of Moana people and our connection to place. Moana artists offer their own exclamations and reclamations as expressions full of hope, ambition and sovereignty.” 

“Amongst the shifting circumstances of the pandemic, these artists have shown how – even when creating in sustained isolation – we have innumerable connections.” 

Oh My Ocean includes work by Rawiri Brown, Fa’amele Etuale, Ioane Ioane, Elisabeth Kumaran, Sani Muliaumaseali’i, Michel Mulipola, Iata Peautolu, Keva Rands and Chris Van Doren.

Through a dynamic blend of media that reaches across comic book illustration, sculpture, installation art, digital media, textile design and performance, these artists tell stories that celebrate and share a Moana worldview. 

All artists exhibiting in Oh My Ocean participated in Tautai’s Fale-ship programme, an initiative born of the Covid-19 lockdowns to support artists working across a range of artistic disciplines to develop 

and make work at home. It is the second of two group exhibitions showcasing Tautai’s Fale-ship artists. 

Tautai Director Courtney Sina Meredith says, “We’re excited to be rounding out Tautai’s full year of exhibitions with Oh My Ocean, the finale show by our 2021 guest curator Nigel Borell. This blockbuster offering provides urgent and sacred insight into the work of contemporary Tagata-Moana artists and the power of our community.” 

Oh My Ocean is live now til 29th January 2022 at the Tautai Gallery.

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