Spectacle of water and moving image for Matariki

Mana Moana

Mana Moana. Photo: Jeff McEwan, Capture Studios

A constellation of artists led by two Massey University academics created a unique cinematic experience on Wellington Habour’s lagoon for Matariki in 2019.

Mana Moana is a collaboration between musicians, artists, writers and choreographers who have produced five short art films fusing poetry, dance, song, painting, photography and animation. But instead of a traditional film screen, these films were be shown on a screen of projected water.

The project is curated by Massey School of Art staff members and artists Rachael Rakena, Kāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi and Michael Bridgman, with producers Storybox.

Ms Rakena, a well-known artist whose own work frequently uses water, says screening the films in this way affirms the project’s kaupapa.

“These films explore indigenous relationships and identities with the ocean. As we grapple with climate change, our futures will be linked in new ways. Water is connective tissue – the seas connect us all between the islands of the Pacific – and Mana Moana is literally projecting its stories on water.

“In the face of our climate emergency this work is timely and relevant,” says Ms Rakena.

See a preview of the work on Facebook

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa