Terri Te Tau

Terri Te Tau is a trans-disciplinary artist of Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu descent who grew up in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand.  She holds a Doctorate in Fine Arts at Te Pūtahi a Toi, Massey University.

"Te Tau's work has investigated power relations and surveillance by juxtaposing a Maōri worldview with state-sanctioned surveillance of citizens. Using a creative practice-based enquiry she explored intersections and differences between these two perspectives against the backdrop of ‘Operation 8’ an anti-terror investigation carried out by the New Zealand Police in 2007. As an artist within the community subjected to the surveillance action she was motivated to explore how an interdisciplinary arts practice, informed by Maori concepts might respond to state surveillance. Installation, video and a science fiction narrative form the creative components of her research. These components were developed against Maori concepts of mana, tapu, mauri, hau, whanaungatanga and mana motuhake and explored in the context of art and literature informed by global developments in surveillance. Her research proposes that the interconnected relationships between these concepts mitigate the tendency to replicate the power dynamics within state and citizen surveillance, and are therefore able to resist it." - Massey University

She is a member of the Mata Aho Collective who exhibited in Documenta 14. In 2020 Mata Aho were nominated for the Walters Prize. She has participated in group shows within public galleries and project spaces in Aotearoa New Zealand, Germany, Denmark and New York. Terri completed a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey in 2008 followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma in Māori Visual Arts. In 2009 she moved to Paris where she was granted a summer residency at Parsons Paris School of Art and Design.

CIRCUIT Resources

Essay by Jasine Gallagher (2016)
Podcast with Mark Amery (2014)

CIRCUIT Projects

A Party Political Broadcast, co-commissioned with The Physics Room, Christchurch (2017)

Selected Exhibitions


Toi Tū, Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

And only sea (with Mata Aho Collective), Public Art Commission, Wellington
Aka (with Mata Aho collective), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada 
To Make Wrong Right Now (with Mata Aho Collective), Honolulu Biennial, Hawai’i State Art Museum
Oceania (with Mata Aho Collective), Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France

Oceania (with Mata Aho Collective), Royal Academy, London, UK

Kiko Moana, documenta 14 (with Mata Aho collective), Kassel, Germany

ŌTĀKARO, The Physics Room, Christchurch

Puwawau (solo), Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton

Toioho Ki Mangere, Mangere Arts Centre - Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Auckland

Caste: Terri Te Tau and Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti, Aratoi - Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton