New exhibition at Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery speaks to the charged history, fateful consequences, and future prospects of our bicultural nation

Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery’s new exhibition Tēnei Ao Tūroa – This Enduring World opens on Saturday 9 April. This exhibition features three distinct bodies of work by three photographic artists: Mark Adams, Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou) and Chris Corson-Scott.

Black and white photograph of native New Zealand trees on a sloping hillside.
Natalie Robertson, Te Puna o Te Ao Te Huinga and kahikatea trees, Tīkapa-a-Hinekopeka III, 2018, digital dye-sublimated print on polyester fabric, aluminium pole, 3750 × 3010 mm, courtesy of the artist.

This exhibition features three distinct bodies of work by three photographic artists: Mark Adams, Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou) and Chris Corson-Scott.

They have been brought together by Adam Art Gallery director Christina Barton. She anticipates that visitors will see the connections that link the artists: “I am excited to have three such serious and accomplished artists sharing their work in our spaces. I am sure a rich dialogue instigated by their works will ensue.”

She notes the many ways these artists are linked. “All three photographers use large-format analogue technology to produce large-scale colour and black and white images of great detail and lush tone. They explore particular sites that have loaded histories that speak of human encounter and occupation and their formational and fraught effects.”

A key feature of this presentation is the inclusion of historical imagery and objects to contextualise the artists’ images. This produces a rich cultural base for appreciating the visual and material legacies within which their works are embedded.

Though each artist has focused on their own unique subjects and brings their own perspectives to bear, together they deepen our understanding of our complex history, and our shared and separate predicaments.

Natalie Robertson’s work is drawn from the exhibition Tātara E Maru Ana – The Sacred Rain Cape of Waiapu, first presented at Tairāwhiti Museum in Gisborne before being restaged at ST PAUL St Gallery at Auckland University of Technology in 2021. Consisting of large-scale hanging photographic banners, colour and black and white photographs, and enlargements of historical imagery, this exhibition offers, in the artist’s words, “a record of an ancestral tīpuna landscape as it is today.”

Mark Adams’ photographs were first shown in Hinemihi: Te Hokinga – The Return at Auckland’s Two Rooms in 2020. The exhibition consists of large-scale colour and black and white photographs Adams took in 2000 of the whare carved by the Ngāti Tarawhai master-carvers Tene Waitere and Wero Tāroi located on the grounds of Clandon Park in Surrey, England. In the Te Pātaka Toi’s new iteration, guest curated by Hamish Coney, Adams’ photographs are accompanied by historical photographs of Hinemihi in its original site at Te Wairoa before and after the Tarawera eruption (1886), and other related subjects, together with two carvings by Tene Waitere and Wero Tāroi.

Chris Corson-Scott is based in Auckland. Adam Art Gallery has worked with Chris to select a range of his large-scale photographs made between 2013 and 2018. These have been shot in locations throughout the North and South Islands and all register the impact of industrial and urban development. Corson-Scott takes an archaeological interest in capturing the remnants of colonial and modern industry, as well as tracking more recent land developments and markers of environmental change. His images often nod to the works of earlier artists, for example Alfred Sharpe and John Kinder, examples of whose work are included in the exhibition.

Artists’ and curators’ introduction, discussion, and tour
2 pm, Rāhoroi Saturday 9 April 2022
Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery

Join curators Christina Barton and Hamish Coney, and artists Natalie Robertson and Chris Corson-Scott, for an introduction, discussion, and tour of the Gallery’s latest exhibition.


Tēnei Ao Tūroa – This Enduring World
Mark Adams, Natalie Robertson, Chris Corson-Scott
Brought together by Christina Barton
9 April–26 June 2022