& Our People
Toi Taiao Whakatairanga works with artists to explore public awareness around Myrtle Rust and Kauri Dieback and positive behaviours as kaitiaki, caring for and respecting the mana of our ngahere/forests.
Toi Taiao Whakatairanga is a cross-disciplinary research project, bringing together arts, science and te āo Māori to raise awareness of threats to the health of our ngāhere. Over three years the project is commissioning Māori artists to develop new artwork through creative engagement with iwi, hapu and community across areas impacted by kauri dieback disease (Phytopthora agathidicida) and myrtle rust (Autropuccinia psidii). By tracing the dynamics of interactions between communities, artists, Mana Whenua and people engaged in forest kaitiakitanga, Toi Taiao Whakatairanga aims to contribute to understandings of how artistic practices can engage with colonial science and mātauranga Māori frameworks.
The project involves artistic research paradigms, mātauranga Māori, social science, ecological science, public pedagogy and community perspectives to grow public awareness and positive behaviours as kaitiaki, caring for and respecting the mana of our ngahere/forests.
TTW will contribute to knowledge of how artistic practices and epistemologies can interrelate with scientific and indigenous frameworks through research and publishing articles contributing to building public awareness.
The arts projects will be presented in a range of public forums and will be reflected on through research and published articles.
The Toi Taiao Whakatairanga team
Dr Nick Waipara
Ngāti Ruapani ki Turanga
Plant and Food Research
Dr Molly Mullen
Arts, community and education lecturer and researcher, The University of Auckland
The Kauri Project
The University of Auckland, Victoria University
Dr Mark Harvey
Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Clan Keith.
Artist, curator, conservationist and researcher, The University of Auckland
The Kauri Project
Dr Nick Waipara
Nick is employed as Science Group Co-Leader (Plant Pathogen Environment) at Plant and Food Research (The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited), based in Auckland. Nick is an executive trustee of Te Tira Whakamātaki, the Māori Biosecurity Network. Indigenous environmental not-for-profit (ttw.nz). Nick participates in several national research initiatives including; Biological Heritage National Science Challenge / Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho, specifically in ‘Ngā Rākau Taketake’ (Kauri Dieback and Myrtle Rust Research programme), and https://bioprotection.org.nz/ which is a Centre of Research Excellence (CORE).
Dr Molly Mullen
Molly is a senior lecturer in applied theatre and participatory arts. She has over ten years of experience producing theatre education, youth theatre, community arts and children’s theatre projects in the UK and New Zealand. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Aotearoa since 2009. Dr Mullen’s research focuses on the ways in which theatre and the arts can contribute to social justice, environmental justice and well-being. Most of her research is ethnographic and/or arts-based, involving in depth, often collaborative, fieldwork to understand the relationship between examples of practice and the contexts in which they are produced.
Chris is an artist, curator and designer. He is acurator/researcher with Toi Taiao Whakatairanga – a National Science Challenge Arts Project building awareness of kauri dieback and myrtle rust. Since 2013, Chris has been co-curator and trustee for The Kauri Project working with artists, scientists and mātauranga Māori practitioners to build environmental awareness. He has worked as adviser/manager to the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust which is establishing the first residency in the name of a Māori writer or artist; former manager of McCahon House Museum and Artists' Residency and is a co-curator of the retrospective exhibition and publication – Wellington Media Collective: We Will Work With You 1978-1998 – as a member of the Wellington Media Collective, Chris was an artist, designer and printer producing art and political posters. He continues to create work addressing social and political issues locally and globally. His most recent work is the collaborative Whakaako Kia Whakaora Educate To Liberate Panthers Mural on Karangahape Rd, Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, linking the Black Panther Party and the Polynesian Panthers.
Sophie Jerram is a curator, arts advocate and researcher. She established co-directed the art collectives Now Future, Letting Space and Urban Dream Brokerage (2013-2018) and was a Trustee of TKP from 2013. Currently she is working with Wellington City on the implementation of the new Aho Tini arts policy and is concurrently a Research Fellow at University of Auckland. Her academic work has considered practices of between space and governance, and the political intersection of landscape, justice, and spatial commoning.
Dr Mark Harvey
Mark is a researcher, a practicing artist, curator and conservationist. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Arts and Industries at The University of Auckland. His research has evolved into the spaces of arts and community advocacy in relation to ecological awareness and mātauranga Māori. Mark has a background in psychology, education, school teaching and has 29 years’ experience as an artist in public performance, live art and video. He has presented widely in international contexts such as the 2013 Venice Biennale for Visual Arts, The 2012 New Zealand Festival of Arts with Letting Space, projects with The Kauri Project, and many festivals and galleries in Europe and Aotearoa. He has published extensively in relation to the arts, public politics, and more recently mātauranga Māori, in a range of publications such as South (2012) and Convovarte (2018).
Ariane grew up in regenerating bush in the Bay of Islands, and is an arts curator, researcher, and mother now based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has a Masters in Art History from the University of Auckland, and was Curatorial Intern at Artspace Aotearoa in 2007. A career working across public museums, galleries and arts festivals has fueled a passion for creative dialogue - between artworks, between artforms, between artists and audiences, between art and other disciplines – and belief that art and creativity is central to our expression of life and interaction with each other. A founding trustee and co-curator of The Kauri Project, her current focus is on embedding creative practice and process into strategies for community response to the wicked problems facing our society and environment… and growing more plants.
Chervelle is a lens-based visual artist from Waitākere, Tāmaki Makaurau. Athena is a PhD candidate at Auckland University of Technology and won The Wallace Arts Trust Award for Outstanding Achievement in Postgraduate Studies, 2018. Her photographic practice explores kinship and spirituality through lens-based relations with the endangered kauri ngāhere of Te Ika a Māui.