Past Exhibition

Follow the Party of the Whale. Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley

Tūrei 2 -
Rātapu 7

Tuesday 2 -
Sunday 7


Man holding a bottle and spitting water into the air in a forest with a blanket on the ground

Image: Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley, Follow the Party of the Whale, 2013.

Presented in association with Puaka Matariki Festival Dunedin 2013, Follow the Party of the Whale is a site-specific multimedia installation consisting of a double-channel video with a separate, but related, sound element by collaborators Shannon Te Ao (Ngati Tuwharetoa) and Iain Frengley.

An offisite Project presented as a part of the Puaka Matariki Otepoti Festival 2013, Dunedin Community Gallery, Princes St

Dunedin-based Frengley and Wellington-based artist Te Ao have created a work that retraces and reinterprets a commemorative hikoi held in 1985 by local iwi. The hikoi was in remembrance of the 19th Century Māori prisoners brought to Dunedin during the conflicts between early settlers and followers of Parihaka leaders Te Whiti O Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi.

The installation reconfigures the static Dunedin Community Gallery space and builds on Te Ao and Frengley’s 2012 work, Untitled (Anderson’s Bay), which featured the caves of Anderson’s Bay carved out in the late 19th Century by displaced Maori prisoners. Their work re-visits Anderson’s Bay and documents other sites of forced labour around Otepoti, Dunedin. Balancing what could be considered straight documentation and site-specific performance the exhibition is a meditative, confrontational and somewhat poetic body of work exploring the history and geography of Otago Harbour.

The title of the exhibition borrows a phrase from whakatauki (Maori proverbial speech) used historically by local iwi relating people of mana to the whale. The use of this metaphorical device activates alternative modes of memorialisation and celebration, creating new points of entry by connecting present-day implications to moments, people, and places of the past.

Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley

Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley have been collaborators for the past two years and were included in Artspace’s (Auckland) New Artist Show in 2012 and were awarded a merit award in the National Contemporary Art Award (2012) for their work Untitled (After Rakaihautu). Shannon Te Ao is an artist, writer and curator whose current research interests include performance and video art practices. Te Ao holds a BFA (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching from the University of Auckland and currently teaches at Massey University College of Creative Arts. Iain Frengley is a freelance cinematographer, filmmaker and photographer and holds a Masters in Natural History Filmmaking (with Distinction) from the University of Otago.