Expression of Interest for Te Ara i Whiti 2023

Open date: Wednesday February 1st 2023
Closing date: Thursday March 16th 2023

Online Information Session on 14 Feb at 5:30PM:


Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival is a festival with a difference. It’s an event uniquely focused on inclusion, access and authenticity, designed to use the arts to explore what it means to be of Te Tairāwhiti.  

Te Ara i Whiti is an interactive visual arts experience that forms the heart of the newly named TAI – our Matariki season of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. TAI examines our place on the land and view out to the world. It is a space to question, to wānanga, to innovate and to explore the uniqueness of our place. It is ebb and flow of endless possibility. He Pā Tai…

Te Ara i Whiti is a hybrid of modern form and a contemporary expression of the continuum of Māori design. Over the last 5 years this has seen illuminated installations, sculptural works, animation, film/ video and soundscapes and is a welcome space for exploration. Curated by Melanie Tangaere Baldwin, Te Ara i Whiti is a playful synthesis of bold vibrancy and all the many forms that ngā toi Māori take. Fused with clever engineering and award-winning design by Angus Muir, the result is a stunning collective expression of the creative excellence of Te Tairāwhiti.  

Situated in Tūranga-nui-a-kiwa/ Gisborne along the Taruheru, Waimata and Tūranganui Rivers, Te Ara i Whiti is a free event for whānau to enjoy.   

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival welcomes proposals from artists interested in participating in Te Ara i Whiti 2023.


Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival is calling for proposals from artists who have a connection to Te Tairāwhiti and are interested in participating in Te Ara i Whiti during June/July 2023.  

We are looking for strong proposals that consider the following:  

  • Te Ara i Whiti is an outdoor, public exhibition attracting whānau of all ages, people love to touch and play! How does your work consider play, interaction and space for audience reflection?  
  • This is a group show and each work should be seen as part of a wider context.
  • The banks of the Taruheru, Waimata and Tūranganui Rivers form a spectacular backdrop for these sculptural works, does your work highlight that? How does your work consider Te Taiao? 
  • The works shine brilliantly at night, but how can your work have an equally vibrant relationship to daylight?   
  • The entire installation is underpinned by a celebration of matauranga Māori and the stories of our place.
  • Be prepared to adapt your practice, this is a chance to innovate so enjoy it! 
  • This is open to both emerging and practicing artists, so don’t be afraid to apply! 
  • There are limited spots available, and the curation process is a difficult one. Proposals should show a strong concept, provide basic drawings/ sketches and have a clear Kaupapa and artistic vision.

Technical considerations:

  • How will your work respond to the outdoor environment (sun, wind, rain…)?  
  • The logistics of the work (weight, engineering, storage..)  
  • The time frame (how long will it take to create/ build/ fabricate)  
  • What assistance will you need (technical or otherwise) to create this work  
  • Cost per work is an average of $10k which includes artist fee and material costs. Any variation must be agreed by the Chief Executive / Artistic Director for the Trust  
  • Fabrication will start from May 2nd – June 4th for installation on June 18th 2023  

Important Information: 

  • Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival is hosting an online session for those eager to submit an EOI for Te Ara i Whiti 2023 on Tuesday 14th February at 5:30PM. You can register here 
  • If you are unable to attend the online wānanga, please send any inquiries, technical or artistic to 
  • Proposals are reviewed by guest Curator Melanie Tangaere-Baldwin and Artistic Director – Tama Waipara. If you are shortlisted, you will need to do a verbal presentation for the panel by video call (zoom) on Monday 20 March   
  • All artists selected must attend the 2-day curatorial wānanga. This is a requirement for participation in Te Ara i Whiti.

Submit your interest by 12pm midday, Thursday 16 March 2023. Applications are now open:

Important dates (subject to change): 

  • Feb 1: EOI Opens  
  • Feb 14: Online wānanga (to assist with submissions)  
  • March 16: EOI Closes  
  • March 20: Video presentations (if shortlisted)  
  • March 24: Te Ara i Whiti 2023 artists notified  
  • March 29 & 30: 2-day wānanga (for selected artists)  
  • April 3 – 24: 1 on 1 zoom with TTAF creative and production team  
  • May 1: Concepts finalized  
  • May 2 – June 4: Production  

To date 23 visual artists have contributed to Te Ara i Whiti   

Ariki Whakataka Brightwell  Angus Muir 
Fiona Collis  Baye Riddell 
Huia Edmonds  Mel Tahata 
Steve Gibbs  Tāwera Tahuri 
Chevron Hassett  Melanie Tangaere-Baldwin 
Kaaterina Kerekere   James Tapsell-Kururangi 
Tai Kerekere  Ron Tekawa 
Erena Koopu  Te Naiti Tīhema 
Terangi Roimata Kutia-Tataurangi    Ngaire Tuhua 
Simon Lardelli  Zak Waipara 
Randal Leach  George Watson 
Johnny Moetara   

Aerial view of Te Ara i Whiti 2021 and 2022 to help you understand the space and scope:  

Videography by Cody Keepa, Keepa Digital for Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. Music: Waitī Waitā – Maisey Rika