Te Wai Ngunguru - Nomads of the Sea (2018) is an immersive 3D installation by Lisa Reihana, that weaves historical fact with speculative fiction to explore social tensions in 1800s New Zealand.

Te Wai Ngunguru begins with a sea voyage by female convict Charlotte Badger in 1804. After arriving in Aotearoa, she is protected by a Ngā Puhi chief. Te Wai Ngunguru, explores the lust for muskets, cultural circumstances and where women could find agency at this time, and the contrast between European law and Māori morality.

Originally co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and Creative New Zealand, Ngā Aho Whakaari, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Language Commission and Jan Warburton Charitable Trust. Co-produced by Artprojects and Reihanamations Ltd. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Creative New Zealand and Penelope Seidler AM. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney.

Experience Reihana’s work like never before thanks to a partnership with galleries and museums across the Wellington region.

Pātaka is delighted to present Lisa Reihana: Nomads of the Sea a wider exhibition that celebrates Reihana’s oeuvre, alongside Te Papa’s presentation of in Pursuit of Venus [infected] and New Histories, and Reihana’s Kura Moana series of site-specific works, commissioned by the 2022 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Together, these four projects represent the largest survey of Reihana’s moving image and installation works to date.

Pātaka’s Lisa Reihana: Nomads of the Sea exhibition focuses on Reihana’s distinctive exploration of large-scale, immersive installations and offers insight into her weaving together numerous threads of kōrero from museology, archives and historical accounts, to pūrakau Māori, whakapapa and Māori belief systems. Here you can witness the Aotearoa premiere of Te Wai Ngunguru.


He whakaaturanga toi ataata tēnei e kīa nei, Ko ‘Nomads of the Sea’, nā Lisa Reihana. He raweketanga hītori tēnei, e kitea ai ētehi o ngā āhuatanga o te mana o te wahine i roto i tō tātou hītoria. E haere ngātahi ana ngā kōrero pono me ngā kōrero paki. Ko te kaupapa o te whakaaturanga, ko te taetanga mai o tēnei wahine pākehā nei, a Charlotte Badger, ki Aotearoa i te tau 1804, otirā, e ai ki te kōrero, I āta manaakitia te wahine nei e tētehi rangatira o Ngāpuhi.

Ko te taonga nui ka kitea ki tēnei whakaaturanga ko ‘Te Wai Ngunguru’. He taonga e kōrero ana mō ngā uauatanga i tau ki ngā wahine i roto i te ao pākehā, me ngā tirohanga, me ngā ture, pākehā. Katahi ka kōrerohia te rerekē o te mana wahine i roto i te ao Māori.


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