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Alex McLeod, Pou Ruatipua, (Ngāi Tahu, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Rangi, Tainui, Ngāti Porou).
Photographer: Angelica Dumaguin

Te Waiatatanga Mai o te Atua The Song of the Gods

Ōtautahi has a newly significant public work of art and it is without precedent in Aotearoa. Te
Waiatatanga Mai o te Atua The Song of the Gods is located in the Observatory Tower at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, telling and revealing a version of the Ngāi Tahu creation story as it was documented in 1849 by Matiaha Tiramōrehu. (Born at Kaiapoi pā in the early decades of the nineteenth century Tiramōrehu came from a high-ranking family of the prominent hapū Ngāi Tūāhuriri of Ngāi Tahu.)

Te Waiatatanga Mai o te Atua The Song of the Gods is a Ngāi Tahu project that brings together five artists guided by its appointed creative lead, Aotearoa New Zealand artist and Arts Laureate, Dr Areta Wilkinson (Ngāi Tahu). The artists are: Turumeke Harrington (Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne), Alex McLeod (Ngāi Tahu, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Rangi, Tainui, Ngāti Porou), Kate Stevens West (Ngāi Tahu), Christine Harvey (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Moriori, Ngāti Mutunga, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira), and Ariana Tikao (Kāi Tahu).

Collectively, their arts practices encompass traditional and contemporary art in sculpture, carving, painting and sound, bringing to life and reinterpreting Matiaha Tiramōrehu’s story of creation in an encounter that is described by The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora as ‘an immersive, sensory experience on a monumental scale.’



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