Michel Tuffery

Trailing Tangaroa, 2016

aluminium frame, rubber jandals, metal clips and black electrical ties
3,500 high x 2,000 mm (diameter) variable

Trailing Tangaroa reflects Michel Tuffery concern for the place of Aotearoa New Zealand within the Pacific and it’s connections to and the relationships found through our Moana (sea). Constructed from ‘jandals aka chandals’ the work takes the form of a super sized midden shell. Tuffery found the original shell during his 2016 artist residency on Waiheke Island, originally known as Te Motu Arairoa (the long sheltering island) and recreates the shape as a metaphor for a recording device or witness to human existence in our eco systems. Tuffery continues his characteristic use of popular motifs and everyday materials to point to the continuity and relevance of history in a contemporary context.

Michel Tuffery

born 1966, Wellington
Lives and works in Wellington
Samoan, Rarotongan (Cook Islands) and Ma’ohi Tahitian

Drawing on and exploring his Polynesian heritage Michael Tuffery traverses cultural and material boundaries in his art. His woodcuts, lithographs, drawings, paintings on tapa cloth and canvas, sculptural objects, performances and emblematic carvings evidence his keen interest in histories. Tuffery also activates and collaborates on installation and performance works, often involving children and youth in cultural projects.

Tuffery has a Diploma of Fine Arts (Hons) from Otago Polytechnic and was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, 2008. Recent exhibitions and commissions include: WW1 Gateway Commission, Cook Islands RSA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2016); Reading Middens, Tracing Lines, Waiheke Community Art Gallery (2016); WW1 Sound Shells for the Kuki Airani Soldiers, National Museum of Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2016); Lost and Found, Portrait Gallery, Wellington (2016) and Pacific Dialogues, Diversion Gallery, Picton (2016).