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Taranaki Whenua: Life, Blood, Legacy was an exhibition exploring the history of the Taranaki region. The story is told through photographs, taonga, artworks, maps, archives and collection objects, as well as five essays. The curator asked us to focus on the land and environment of Taranaki and this became an inspiration for designing both the layout and furniture.
We stylised a map of the region with Mt Taranaki at its heart. The flow through the exhibition followed the rivers of the area – used by Māori as the main arteries for moving through the region. The partitions were designed to evoke the white cliffs which line the rivers and define the region’s terrain.
We also wanted to capture the European interpretation of the geography by projecting the ‘Carrington Grid’ from above on to the map below. European settler, Frederic Carrington created a map in 1842 detailing the topography of the area, and laying a precise grid for the development of towns and roads, completely ignoring the many river valleys.
We designed the concept and worked closely with Puke Ariki’s curator to determine how best to allow visitors to interact spatially with the specific display pieces. We laid out the exhibition, developed all the furniture, the lighting, directional and information signage and the video that is shown as part of the exhibition.