Ta Mataora: Group Exhibition

6 November - 23 December 2023 Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga
"We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands but in the greatness of our oceans. We are the sea, we are the ocean. Oceania is us."  Epeli Hau'ofa.


Mahiriki Tangaroa | Sylvia Marsters | Kay George |  Ian George | Tim Buchanan | Brent Holley | Nina Oberg Humphries |  Joan Gragg | Glenda Tuaine | Loretta Reynolds


Ta Mataora is an exhibition of Cook Islands Contemporary Art, Sculpture + Film in recognition of the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting, Cook Islands 6-10 November.  In the tradition of BCA projects, Tatou (2002)  and Te Ata Ou (2003), Ta Mataora presents a survey of recently created  Cook Islands artwork , accompanied by the 1991 painting Guardians by the late Ian George. 


The exhibition also features the short film Taonga An Artist Activist.  Directed by film maker Glenda Tuaine, Taonga portrays the life of Cook Islands living treasure - 'Taonga' - Master Carver Mike Tavioni. The film weaves part of his life story, his connection to artistic expression in all its forms and his undeniable drive for creative and social change.


It is oft remarked, that Pacific contemporary art is 'on the rise', and it is. We can look back to pioneering Pacific artists Teuane Tibbo, Iosua To’afa, Paul 'Pomani' Tangata & Fatu Feu'u to realize how far we've come, but their/our story is yet to be fully appreciated, not just by the public at large, but also by ourselves. 


As global Pacific influence grows,  as a group of self determining Pacific nations, it is political forums like this, hosted in central Polynesia, where we recognise our inherent self worth and learn to play a far larger role in determining our collective future.


As the theme of the leaders conference reflects, our choices, our voices, our Pacific way.


Ta Mataroa, it's time to celebrate .