Mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tions pro­vide in­ter­ac­tive thrills

Hawke's Bay Today - - OPINION - TALK­ING POINT

IT’S BEEN great to see both the mu­seum and li­brary bustling with chil­dren and fam­i­lies this week. And we’ve been get­ting great feed­back from par­ents about all the ac­tiv­i­ties for the chil­dren in the mu­seum and the in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments within our ex­hi­bi­tions — I’ve no doubt the li­brary has been re­ceiv­ing the same.

This week we were priv­i­leged to have a talk from Kahu­rangi Maori Dance Theatre and we learnt about the range of pro­grammes and work they do, par­tic­u­larly with young peo­ple.

That has cer­tainly got my think­ing cap on about pos­si­ble fu­ture col­lab­o­ra­tions we might en­gage in, par­tic­u­larly around en­rich­ing our Matariki of­fer­ing and ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren.

Dur­ing the com­ing week the team will be in­stalling a new dis­play in the Oc­tagon cases at the li­brary end of the building. Put to­gether by our ed­u­ca­tors and li­brary staff, this small dis­play fea­tures both books and items bor­rowed from staff and friends.

It’s also been a great op­por­tu­nity for dif­fer­ent staff to try their hand at cu­rat­ing. It’s only one of the col­lab­o­ra­tion projects we’re work­ing on with the li­brary team — oth­ers in­clude up­com­ing pub­lic pro­grammes, con­fer­ences and more.

The Oc­tagon dis­play is based on the theme of nav­i­ga­tion and sail­ing, with each of the four cases hav­ing a slightly dif­fer­ent fo­cus: nav­i­ga­tion, propul­sion, Matariki and life at sea.

It covers sub­jects such as nav­i­ga­tion meth­ods used to en­sure you reached the right des­ti­na­tion while travers­ing vast oceans, and the means by which ves­sels could be pro­pelled through the water, in­clud­ing wind, row­ing and en­gines.

The dis­play touches on Matariki (also known as Pleiades), a clus­ter of stars, and the im­por­tance their reap­pear­ance in the sky plays in the Maori cal­en­dar.

An­other area ex­plores how sailors kept them­selves busy and en­ter­tained dur­ing long stretches at sea, such as mak­ing ships in bot­tles, ty­ing elab­o­rate nautical knots or cre­at­ing scrimshaw.

Sit­ting along­side ex­hi­bi­tions Stead­fast Steam­ers, Tenei Tonu, Ge­orge Nuku: Bot­tled Ocean 2118 (open­ing Au­gust 24) and our on­go­ing Napier Port ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme, the mu­seum is well im­mersed in things nautical.

We also touch on the beau­ti­ful Atea a Rangi Star Com­pass at Wai­tangi (near Clive). With a series of pou and a gate­way, this in­stal­la­tion is based on a com­pass and ref­er­ences lo­cal sto­ries and align­ment with the stars.

There’s in­for­ma­tion at the star com­pass on the amaz­ing nav­i­ga­tional skills of Maori who set­tled in New Zealand, as well as in­for­ma­tion about the his­tor­i­cal and nat­u­ral sig­nif­i­cance of the area. I can highly rec­om­mend Atea a Rangi as a place to visit.

An­other thing we’re invit­ing peo­ple to do is con­trib­ute to the Ge­orge Nuku ex­hi­bi­tion, set to open in late Au­gust.

Util­is­ing re­cy­cled see-through plas­tic bot­tles (such as water and fizzy drinks), Nuku will work with school stu­dents to cre­ate new works of art.

These will then join ex­ist­ing works he has made and come to­gether to cre­ate the final ex­hi­bi­tion, Ge­orge Nuku: Bot­tled Ocean 2118.

Imag­ing a fu­tur­is­tic un­der­wa­ter world, this ex­hi­bi­tion will cre­ate a won­der­ful im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence.

We hope you’ll help by adding to the ma­te­ri­als re­quired to make the new art­work (we have a large col­lect­ing crate in our front foyer) and then come back to see the fin­ished prod­uct when the ex­hi­bi­tion goes on dis­play.

Marine Pa­rade 1928 to 1938 — lo­cal his­to­rian Michael Fowler. To­day, Cen­tury Theatre, starts at 3.30pm. Free en­try.

NZ Moun­tain Film Fes­ti­val — amaz­ing films cel­e­brat­ing Ki­wis get­ting out there and do­ing it. Satur­day, July 21, starts at 7.30pm. Tickets avail­able from MTG.


The beau­ti­ful Atea a Rangi Star Com­pass at Wai­tangi (near Clive), where the pou mark the sea­sons of the year.

A new dis­play in the Oc­tagon cases at the li­brary end of the MTG fea­tures books and items bor­rowed from staff and friends.

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