Category Archives: Art


“Khal” Exhibition Opening Peformances

- By Paula Booker (Programme Developer, Auckland)

Khal, an ongoing project begun by Helga Fassonaki in Tabriz, Iran, is currently being exhibited at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Auckland.

Fassonaki sent sixteen sculptural scores abroad, for sixteen female artists to interpret and perform publicly in response to a ban on female solo performances in Iran. Three Auckland artists then re-interpreted the scores in performances at the Khal exhibition opening on November 18.

The evening’s performances were:

  • 8 Pillars, originally received by Rachel Shearer and Ducklingmonster, performed live at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision by Piece War / Live Visuals by Cutss 
  • Hypocrisy, originally received by Angeline Chirnside, performed live at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision by Hermione Johnson and Zahra Killeen Chance 
  • Hum Hum Hum Hum Hum, originally received by Purple Pilgrims, performed live at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision by  Liz Maw
“Hypocrisy,” performed by Hermione Johnson and Zahra Killeen Chance.


“Hypocrisy,” performed by Hermione Johnson and Zahra Killeen Chance.


Guitar set up ready for Piece War, in front of “8 Pillars” video projection.


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Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Grahame Sydney

Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

First up in the Audio Curios series is:

Artist Grahame Sydney talks about the loss of unique landscapes in New Zealand

Best of the Farming Show, Newstalk ZB, 24 January 2015

Click below to listen to this fascinating audio snippet:

 Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact



Listen to the full Farming Show interview with Grahame Sydney here: part one, part two.

“Thirty” Opens in Auckland

 - By Paula Booker (Programme Developer, Auckland)

This Monday night saw a well attended launch for our new Auckland exhibition, Thirty, based on the exhibition curated by Gareth Watkins for Wellington. Our small Auckland team was happily joined by a great turn out from organisations with an interest in raising awareness of HIV AIDS, a number of HIV positive individuals, plus educators and advocates, friends, and many who shared sad personal stories of love and loss through HIV AIDS were in attendance.

Paula introduces the Thirty exhibition.
Introducing the Thirty exhibition.

The Auckland manifestation of Thirty includes an expanded segment on women and HIV, which complements and contrasts with the original exhibition materials. Over recent months I have been working with organisations that have produced material directly addressing women’s experiences of HIV AIDS to acquisition this content into the collection, where I am glad it will be preserved for future researchers. This interesting experience of working with content producers and advocates highlighted to me that many producers of moving images are still unaware of the archive’s role in preserving their work for future research and viewing opportunities!

Paula thanks Michael Bancroft, New Zealand AIDS Quilt kaitiaki, for the loan of the quilts.
In this image I am thanking Michael Bancroft, New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt kaitiaki, for the loan of the quilts.

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WUFF it up! Submissions Now Open for 2015 Wellington Underground Film Festival

“If done well, a film conveys effortlessly the ideas and aspects of life that are, typically, the most difficult to communicate, and as audience members, we get to participate in this great collective epiphany. The filmmaker, in that way, is no different to the poet.” - Rosie Rowe, WUFF


If you’ve ever had a vision, a curiosity or a dream for a moving image experiment, now’s the time to get crackin’ on your film and photographic adventures, because submissions for the third annual Wellington Underground Film Festival are now open.



WUFF commands an impressive following and appreciation, with entries streaming in from the Capital, across New Zealand and around the world. In both previous years, the programme hosted three-full days worth of films, the massive schedule representing only a proportion of the entries received.

We talked to Rosie Rowe, one of WUFF’s co founders, to learn more about the continued appeal of experimental and avant-garde moving images, and, for the curious and uninitiated, what WUFF 2015 could hold.

“I don’t think that avant garde/experimental film speaks to Wellingtonians anymore than to any other city full of people,” says Rosie “But I do think that WUFF brings something to Wellington that wasn’t here before. We fill a niche not only for those who appreciate experimental film but also, more specifically, for those who want to see this kind of work in the theatre, not just in galleries or on computer screens.” Continue reading

DON’T LET IT GET YOU – The story behind the sign

Nell Williams is a born and bred Wellingtonian who joined Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s Publicity and Communications Team in August this year. Like lots of locals, she’d encountered the organisation’s Taranaki Street installation piece many times, and admired the emphatic proclamation of the phrase DONT LET IT GET YOU, elegantly rendered in foot-high block capital neon letters. Quietly occupying pride of place in our biggest cafe window, the sign is constantly exposed to the usual melee of Cuba Quarter foot traffic, and the weekday rush-hour exodus from Wellington’s CBD to the Southern suburbs.  DONT LET IT GET YOU is easy to admire from afar, accepted as just one of the many quirky artistic markers on the city’s creative landscape.

The neon installation facing Taranaki Street, on the ground floor of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
The neon installation facing Taranaki Street, on the ground floor of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.


Nell: But once I started working at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, I saw DON’T LET IT GET YOU every day. And I realised I’d never really given much thought to what the piece was getting at… what it meant, where it came from.  And what the significance was for this organisation.

I sat down with Diane Pivac, wealth of knowledge on all things relating to NZ’s moving image community and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s Head of Audience, to find some answers and get the story behind the sign.

So Di:  What is the phrase DONT LET IT GET YOU all about?

Diane Pivac:  Don’t Let it Get You is the name of a film made in 1966 by Pacific Films and it’s also the name of John O’Shea’s memoir: Don’t Let It Get You.

John O’Shea was incredibly eloquent and he had a lot to say… he was Mr Pacific Films, who were, to segue, the only independent film making company in New Zealand… they kept the idea of independent filmmaking alive from 1940… well, basically from the 40s through to the 70s, when The Film Commission was established. And in that time, in the 60s, they made three feature films, one of which was Don’t Let it Get You. Continue reading