Rehua: Whakakitea Ngā Mata o te Ariki

Robin Slow | Brian Flintoff | Bob Bickerton

11 June – 5 July 2022

A multi-sensory experience, Rehua: Whakakitea Ngā Mata o te Ariki, brings together original paintings, taonga pūoro, and soundscapes, with a specific focus on histories and stories from Te Wai Pounamu.

Slow’s paintings are rich stories of whenua, of Rehua, Matariki and their children.

Flintoff is renowned for his musical instruments carved from native timbers, bone and shell. His carvings are inspired by the same stories that inform Slow’s work.

Bickerton creates a contemplative visual and aural catalogue of the combined outcomes using his musical skills and those of Ariana Tikao, Holly Tikao-Weir, Solomon Rahui.


From the call of the putatara from the heavens they sound the way forward opening the pathways to that of the unknown. Governed and guided by the whetu (stars) they travelled from beyond the whero horizon line, from Hawaiiki and beyond to Te Pātū-nui-o-āio, still travelling back, then spiralling forward, and making landfall to a place we call Aotearoa.

The light of Te Ao Marama shines in this place. It shines brightly but also casts the shadows. The light is the space between the conception and the passing, beginning and the end, the tapu and the noa, the male and the female, the young and the old.

From the breath that Tane took and created the manu and wahine for this land, from the winds that blew on the sails for our tipuna to reach here, to the breath we share in the hongi, the waiata, karakia and to the playing of taonga pūoro, the hau is an essential element.

 Rehua is the partner of Mātariki and the father to her children that forms the special cluster of stars.

It was Rehua that gifted Tane many of the songbirds, trees and seeds from his hair to cover their mother Papatuanuku. The manu included the huia, tui and korimako (bellbird). It was the tui that guarded the Pumotomoto (doorway between the 11th and 12th heavens) where the highest esoteric knowledge was kept. The pumotomoto is also the taonga pūoro used by the tohunga to impart knowledge and whakapapa.


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