ABOUT TENT

TENT is an Art Weekend taking place throughout Aotearoa and online, presented by the team who deliver the Aotearoa Art Fair.  The second edition of TENT will feature live exhibitions across the country and also online, and will take place in 2023 across New Zealand.

Galleries are invited to present an off-site / pop-up exhibition, anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand (but NOT in their own gallery space) – and at the same time, show the art online in specially created online viewing rooms.

Your first chance to see (and buy) the art will be in an online preview before the live exhibitions open in the different locations across the country. An accompanying programme of special events, curated walks, chances to meet artists and more, will taking place over three days.

To keep up to date with the participating galleries and artists and where the exhibitions will be, subscribe below and follow @aotearoaartfair on instagram and facebook.

Image: Yllwbro, Merry Christmas, Mr Muldoon, 2019. Screenprint on found tent segment, 152 x 163 x 4 cm. Courtesy the artists and Mokopōpaki, Auckland. Photo: Arekahānara

In 1975, when the Māori Land March led by Whina Cooper reached Wellington and presented their petition, some of the protestors, dissatisfied by the lack of government response to Māori grievances, established a Tent Embassy in the grounds of parliament. The Māori Tent Embassy was open for more than ten weeks until 23 December 1975, when Prime Minister Robert Muldoon ordered an end to the occupation. On Christmas Eve, the Tent Embassy was closed and the Māori diplomatic mission to parliament dismantled, as police forcibly removed the activists, arresting thirty six people in the process. Text by Mokopōpaki

TENT AS ART HOUSE & ACCESSIBLE CULTURAL CONSTRUCT

TENT pitching is what we do here.

Whether it’s Cook in the Coromandel whacking in a few poles and throwing an old sail over the telescope to protect his 1769 Transit of Mercury observation or the large marquee put up in 1840 on the front lawn of British Resident, James Busby’s Bay of Islands house, as crowds of local Māori and Pākehā gathered to discuss signing the Treaty of Waitangi, right from the get go, the relocatable, multi-purpose, often improvised tent has been that unassuming but practical structure able to accommodate us all.

Tents are a significant shape in our collective memory and myth. The pull of guy rope and snap of canvas sings to who we are and where we have been. From the conquest of Everest to the mud of Flanders, from protest embassy in the grounds of Parliament to pavilion at an agricultural machinery show, from Christmas holidays at the beach to character-building bush camps with the Girl Guides, from 21st birthday parties at the marae to cake stalls at the church fair, tents are about place. Our place. And the ordinary-extraordinary life, art and culture that goes on in and around them.

TENT: title concept and text by Mokopōpaki