Fair Play

Aotearoa Art Fair might have been cancelled, but the art is still there to be seen – or even bought. Go on.

Fair Play

Aotearoa Art Fair might have been cancelled, but the art is still there to be seen – or even bought. Go on.

As we went to press, the Aotearoa Art Fair announced it was cancelling its 2022 event, which had been scheduled to return to Tāmaki Makaurau in March. It’s been a turbulent couple of years thanks to Covid: 2020 was cancelled in the first lockdown, 2021 was shut down on the last day by a sudden move to Level 3, and now the “red” settings on the Covid traffic light system have made the 2022 event impossible to stage. “It’s sad for everyone,” notes co-director Stephanie Post, “but it’s a tragedy for the galleries, and the artists who have already made the work.”  

Aotearoa Art Fair will be back in 2023; the team may also stage something later this year – possibly their Tent event, which launched last November – but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, much of the art noted below has already been made. “When we cancel, that’s $10 million worth of art that doesn’t get sold,” says Post. “Please look at the galleries – and go visit them.”

Substitute Superheroes

It’s Batman and Robin, as you’ve never seen. Gisborne’s PAULNACHE gallery was to show a solo installation by Tawhai Rickard that explores a Māori reinterpretation of the American superheroes. The Misadventures of Te Kuri follows the reimagined characters as they navigate Aotearoa in the face of adversity and antagonism. Capturing their journeys as they transcend time and place, the installation is an unconventional commentary of our country’s post-colonial history.




The Cloud’s mezzanine floor was once again to be dedicated to young galleries and experimental, artist-run spaces, gifted the name He Iti by Gisborne’s Hoea! Gallery – a gallery created and curated by wāhine Māori. The moniker refers to the whakatauki “Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu”. This suggests that though something might seem small or insignificant, it may be the greatest treasure. With artists like Chauncey Flay having shown on the mezzanine in past years, we can only imagine the undiscovered taonga that await.

Hoea! Gallery & Project Space


The Den




Futures Gallery




Discordia Gallery


Flower Power

Following a return to our shores from New York, Martin Basher was to unveil four sculptures at the entrance of the event. A continuation of the art fair’s partnership with Sculpture on the Gulf, the abstract pieces are an evolution of the artist’s post-pandemic body of work that takes floral still life as a departure. Endeavouring to make something pure and beautiful in a time of uncertainty, the layered, linear sculptures see the work develop into flowers at their most reduced, abstract form. And while Basher’s work won’t be seen at the Cloud, you can view it at Sculpture on the Gulf, which is still scheduled to go ahead on Waiheke Island this March. 

Sculpture on the Gulf


Martin Basher





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