Posts Tagged 'Matariki'

News Update 8 July, 2014

Kia Ora,

Our MA15 conference planning team in Dunedin are putting together an exciting programme on the theme of Communicating Culture. On a visit to Dunedin last week Phillipa visited hosts Otago Museum, and met with the folk from the other museums and galleries who are contributing to the programme. Look out for more information, a call for proposals, events at Toitū and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, visits and tours – complete with powhiri, bagpipes and southern hospitality. We have penciled in 6-8 May 2015, although this may change depending on the availability of our keynote speaker(s).

Matariki-1

Congratulations to Olveston for topping the NZ list of Landmarks in the 2014 tripadvisor.com Traveller’s Choice Awards. Awarded on the basis of visitor reviews on the Tripadvisor website, with a 97% satisfaction level (the highest in the country), Olveston has been ranked #1 in the top 10 list. Olveston is also ranked #5 in the Top 25 list of South Pacific Landmarks, the only NZ entity included in the list (tipped by Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge). The very favourable media coverage of the award in print, online, tv and radio, has resulted in great exposure for the house. For the complete lists, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz or read Dunedin landmark beats out Sky Tower.

Looking at the last two weeks media reports, we wish we could have gone to all the wonderful and imaginative Matariki events around the country. Now there’s a new raft or offerings for the school holidays – we hope they’re well-attended and appreciated. We’re also seeing a growing number of WW1 events and exhibitions as the centenary gets closer. Many museums are researching local WW1 stories, and the National Army Museum has enlisted Sir Peter Jackson’s expertise to plan its Western Front battlefield experience. We recommend the resources on the official MCH WW100 website, where its easy to list your museum and gallery projects and events.

Local politics continues to have a direct effect on museums and galleries. In Whangarei, the council has decided to can the controversial Hundertwasser Art Centre project despite the funding threshhold being met, and in Oamaru, the council is to investigate merging the Forrester Gallery and North Otago Museum on the Forrester site. MTG Hawke’s Bay is still in the news over budget and visitation. We’re currently doing some research on museum and gallery governance, to see if there are structures and patterns which we can analyse and learn from so that museums can be better positioned to survive and thrive in their own local contexts. This research will feed into our next sector survey later this year.

And if you’re in Wellington we can personally recommend the City Gallery’s current exhibition Seung Yul Oh: MOAMOA, A Decade. As well as interactive inflatable objects and large fibreglass birds that rock and chime (Oddooki, commissioned by Te Papa 2008), there’s The Ability to Blow Themselves Up. Check out the City Gallery staff practising in this online video.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

 

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iPads and Coconuts by Aaron Compton

I’ve been looking at trends in museum education. It’s a pretty specialised role and in New Zealand there is a very small community of us, so I like to think it’s easy for us to set our own trends. For instance I just noticed that Te Papa is doing light painting for Matariki this year.

Hell, at Tairawhiti Museum we’ve been doing that since 2011. I’m a trendsetter.

Sophie: This girl disappeared down a wormhole, leaving only her shape on the wall behind her. But really we waved lights behind this girl to get her silhouette, she stepped away and we shone a torch on the ngatu where she had been standing

Sophie: This girl disappeared down a wormhole, leaving only her shape on the wall behind her. But really we waved lights behind this girl to get her silhouette, she stepped away and we shone a torch on the ngatu where she had been standing

Light painting is an activity with a definite WOW factor for children, teachers and parents. Take a dark room, a webcam hooked up to a long-exposure app and a big screen, some pretty light sticks and torches in different colours, add a group of excitable children and you’ve got some fun times ahead. You can draw in the air and make freaky portraits and the results appear in real time on the big screen; you can then print them out or give them to the teacher as .JPGs.

This is the kind of museopunk thing I love (check out museopunks.org ). It stemmed from me wanting a hands on activity to go with the graffiti art exhibition we had, but not wanting to mess with spray paint fumes in our enclosed classroom space, or to have to explain to parents why I was teaching their children to be vandals.

Tagging: A budding graffiti artist writes his tag in the air. No paint, no fumes, no clean up.

Tagging: A budding graffiti artist writes his tag in the air. No paint, no fumes, no clean up.

There is a lot of high tech stuff I and other museum folk dream of doing. iPads, wifi through all the galleries, location awareness, all that good, expensive stuff. I don’t have a budget for iPads. What I can afford though is coconuts.

Back in 2012 when the Transit of Venus was all we could talk about here in Tairawhiti, I was thinking about navigation. I wanted those iPads but instead my mind went to what I had heard called a ‘starpeeker’– a coconut shell with holes drilled at certain places to align with stars. I wasn’t sure how it worked but the idea appealed.

So I did a mash up of this Polynesian navigation device with a European one – a map. I made 15 maps of our gallery space and on each one put 2 different coloured footprints. Each map goes with a specific, numbered, starpeeker coconut with 2 sets of holes colour coded to the footprints on the map. When a pair of students find the exact right spot in the gallery where the footprints on their map should be, they can look up through the starpeeker and find the right coloured star in the rafters. When all is aligned correctly an arrow on the starpeeker points them in the direction of a certain taonga, and they have to answer a question about that taonga. Phew.

Children at Tairawhiti Museum use a mashup of European and Polynesion navigation techniques to find their way through the gallery.

Children at Tairawhiti Museum use a mashup of European and Polynesion navigation techniques to find their way through the gallery.

It was hugely complicated to set up but worth it – children really have to think to succeed with this and teachers love it, it aligns with a lot of NZ Curriculum stars.

Wifi? No. Location awareness? YES!

High tech is trending highly but hands on activities will always be in style. The low tech backlash starts here. Go and buy some coconuts!

Aaron Compton
Education Officer, Tairawhiti Museum

 

News Update 16 July

It has been good to hear about exciting Matariki events in museums around the country to brighten up the stormy winter. There are also some great school holiday programmes coming up – see the postings on our Facebook page, and please add more.

Museums Aotearoa Meetings in Hawke’s Bay/Canterbury
Last week the MA Board spent a day in Napier. We arrived to a very soggy morning, and got most of the Board business completed before we were joined for lunch by staff, volunteers and committee members from around the region. A total of about 20 people from as far away as Waipawa and Onga Onga, as well as Hastings and Napier, caught up informally before work-shopping key topics with MA Board and staff. We heard from Michelle Sim of the Air Force Museum about the new ’emerging professionals’ group she is establishing with others around the country. We really appreciated the opportunity to meet more of our members ‘on the ground’, and their willingness to share issues and ideas – and the sun even came out so we could sit outside.

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (R) shows MA visitors around the new spaces at MTG Hawke's Bay

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (R) shows MA visitors around the not-yet-open MTG Hawke’s Bay redevelopment, 11 July 2013

We also had a good planning session for the MA14 conference being hosted by MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2-4 April 2014. We’ll be outlining the theme and calling for contributions in the next few weeks. While in Napier, we enjoyed a sneak preview of the former Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery which will re-open as the greatly expanded MTG Hawke’s Bay this September.

This was the first in a series of regional meetings over the next few months. The next will be at Canterbury Museum on the afternoon of Thursday 15 August. That meeting will start with afternoon tea, and is followed by a presentation by Sarah Davy of the NZ Film Archive with a screening of Temple, Prison, Restaurant, the compilation of museum representations which was shown at MA13. More details will be sent to museums in the Canterbury region later this week, and we’ll put it out on our blog and Facebook as well.

We’re planning more meetings around the country, including Dunedin, Nelson, Rotorua, Whanganui/Palmerston North, Dargaville, Auckland and Wellington. If you’re interested in hosting one of these meetings, please contact the office.

MA Board – advocacy
Your Board and staff are using these meetings to inform our work and our planning. One of our key activities is advocacy. We do this in a wide range of ways – by research and data such as the sector survey, supporting members in policy and advice, working with you on our Code of Ethics, and promoting the positive impact that museums have in our communities. In coming months we expect to work with NSTP to review museum standards, with ServiceIQ to improve training frameworks, and to engage more actively in tourism as well as continue our current conference and awards programmes.

An international example of advocacy tools which museums can use locally is the UK Museums Association’s new report and web resource Museums Change Lives, which highlights the social role of museums. This campaign builds on last year’s Museums 2020 consultation which looked to the future of museums and their impact, and drew input from around the world, including NZ and Australia. The aim of Museums Change Lives is to “enthuse people in museums to increase their impact, encourage funders to support museums in becoming more relevant to their audiences and communities, and show organisations the potential partnerships they could have with museums, to change people’s lives.” Check it out if you’re looking for some inspiration.

New Members’ Forum Coming Soon
The MA office is thrilled to have a new database and website, scheduled to launch next week. Though the general look of the website will remain the same the new ‘back end’ will bring some exciting new features, especially in the members’ only section of the site.

At launch you will be asked to login and update your contact details and communications preferences. The new development enables us to better target emails. Those of you who love our News & Notices, but would prefer not to get our job vacancies, will be able to select which of our communications you would like to receive. Additionally, when you login you will find new features such as a new private members’ forum and online directory to make it easier to keep the conversations going with your MA colleagues.

Blog, MAQ and more
We have been having such great responses to our calls for contributions to the MAQ that we have decided to start publishing regular guest blog posts including profiles of some of our members and more case studies of projects. Please contact the MA office if you are interested in being a contributor to any of our publications.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 2 July 2013

Kia ora,

Matariki and Maori Language week are being celebrated in museums and galleries around the country. Last Saturday I popped into Te Papa to enjoy the buzz of kapa haka groups performing and crowds of people exploring the museum in the breaks, before being drawn back into the main foyer area as the next group began its routine. Check out our facebook page to see posts from museums around the country about how they are celebrating.

Museums Aotearoa Forum in Napier next Thursday
MA Board members want to get out to our members and hear about your ideas for your professional association. The first of a planned series of regional meetings will be on Thursday 11 July, in Napier, hosted by MTG Hawke’s Bay – although they haven’t got a usable building yet so we’re off site in Ahuriri. We are keen to listen to your suggestions and priorities, and provide an opportunity to get together with colleagues without having to travel too far. Anyone interested in hosting a forum, or with particular topics you’d like included, please contact the MA office.

Kaitiaki network
National Services Te Paerangi, with support from Museums Aotearoa, is developing a database of Māori who work in the museum and gallery sector.The Kāhui Kaitiaki Māori database will collate information about Māori working directly in museums and art galleries, indirectly in the sector (for example, experts on taonga), those who have moved out of or across the sector into new roles, and those who are coming into the sector through tertiary or training programmes. The database and subsequent network will include both front and back of house kaimahi (workers), paid and unpaid staff and everyone from volunteers through to Board members.

The collation of this information will assist in the organisation of a Kāhui Kaitiaki hui to be held in Hawke’s Bay on the 11/12/13th of October 2013 with the kaupapa of “Titiro Whakamua”. With the information from the database, we will be more aware of who is working in the sector, and what kaitiaki want to achieve through the hui and the Kāhui Kaitiaki network.

We currently have a student, Matariki Williams, on board to work on this project with our Museums Aotearoa Kaitiaki Māori representative, Tryphena Cracknell. Matariki is interning with National Services Te Paerangi as part of her Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University – contact Matariki to be included.

Tracking Tunnel by Adrienne Grant

Tracking Tunnel by Adrienne Grant

Waikato Museum have an interesting art installation on their forecourt. Here is an image from their facebook page of Tracking Tunnel by Hamilton artist Adrienne Grant – a giant people sized version of the tunnels used by conservation workers.

Massive Theatre performing excerpts from The Brave for CNZ 2013

Massive Theatre performing excerpts from The Brave for CNZ 2013

Last week Talei and Phillipa both attended Creative New Zealand’s conference in Auckland last week – Arts by, with, for young people. With case studies, keynote speakers, academics, practitioners and performers, it was a lively event with lots of good ideas tossed around. we did find it a bit ironic that there were far more young people on the stage than in the audience, which brought home the fact that while the arts are managed by older people, we all need to be fully engaged with the next generations who are our audiences and our inheritors.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 4 June 2013

Kia ora,

The new MA Board met for the first time in Wellington on 13 May. We reviewed feedback from the MA13 conference and Kahui Kaitiaki, and planned priority activities for the coming months. We are excited to be working on a series of regional forums for members and museum staff to get together to discuss key issues. The first of these will be in Napier on 11 July.

MA13 conference material is now online, including videos of keynote presentations on YouTube.

We are delighted to see that Auckland Museum, finalist in the 2013 NZ Museum Awards for its energy saving project, is now a finalist in the Green Ribbon Awards to be announced at Parliament tomorrow (World Environment Day).

Dr Ian Griffin, new Director of Otago Museum has told Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon that ‘museums are absolutely critical to any civilised society’. Listen to the interview to hear more of his background and ideas about museums in general and Otago Museum in particular.

The Museums Australia conference in Canberra was a good opportunity to see how colleagues across the Tasman are dealing with very similar challenges and issues as we are. In some areas they seem to be doing well – while funding is always an issue, the general feeling was positive, and some exciting projects were showcased. In engagement with indigenous and diverse communities there was recognition that there is much that Australia can learn from Aotearoa. Canberra was in celebratory mood, with a year-long programme of festivals and events marking its centenary. While I wasn’t in the right place at the right time to see it floating above the city, Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale hot-air balloon sculpture occasioned much discussion alongside the more serious conference topics.

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

On the way back from Canberra I stopped in at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum in Jervis Bay. I had not planned the visit – it was raining, the museum happened to be well-signposted, and I was looking for a break from driving. While I didn’t wander the extensive grounds and outbuildings because of the rain, there was plenty to see inside besides the centrepiece Sydney Harbour ferry ‘Lady Denman’ (1911-1979) which was built nearby. The museum has the eclectic collection of miscellany you expect in a community museum, including local history, shipwreck stories, and an extensive personal collection of surveyors’ instruments and maritime memorabilia. As a hub for its community, I experienced the strains of the local men’s choir rehearsing, a delightful volunteer who wanted to share her enthusiasm for every aspect of the museum, and could have purchased local art and craft. In addition, I found that the museum manager (and only paid staff member) was MA member Melinda Loe, formerly of Te Papa and more recently the Rocks Discovery Museum in Sydney. Mel has been there a few months now, and would love more visits from fellow New Zealanders.

He tangata, He tangata, He tangata! the theme for National Volunteer week, 16-22 June. This is a special time to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work of volunteers, without whom many museums simply could not operate. See Volunteering NZ for resources and ideas. Also coming up is Maori Language Week, 1-7 July, with the theme Ngā Ingoa Māori – Māori names. Coming alongside Matariki, there are ideas, activities and resources on the Korero Māori website and MLW Facebook page.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

STOP PRESS – MA14 conference, Napier, 2-4 April 2014

Reserve the dates now, and send us your ideas any time. We’ll put out a preliminary call for contributions very soon.


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