Past Exhibitions | Whakaaturanga i muri


Silhouettes of NZ soldiers on a battlefield. Behind them are rugby goalposts

30 March - 20 JuneBalls, Bullets and Boots

An exhibition that examined the intersection of rugby and World War I through the lives of New Zealand rugby players who served in the armed forces; developed and toured by the New Zealand Rugby Museum. This was its last venue before being decommissioned.
The words "Farewell Zealandia" with a graphic of an Anzac soldier

30 March - 20 JuneFarewell Zealandia

The forgotten Kiwi songs of World War One tell the story of what it meant to be a New Zealander living through the turmoil and tragedy at the time. Commemorating campaigns and battles as well as life on the home front, Farewell Zealandia is a musical record of people’s hopes and fears, sense of duty, loss and remembrance. Developed together with Musical Heritage New Zealand, and supported by Radio New Zealand and the Lotteries Commission

1 March - 9 JuneExcellence

An exhibition showcasing work that earned Excellence in NCEA Level 3. Design, printmaking, photography and painting portfolios were drawn from artists around the region.
Drawn figures of artificial birds

9 March - 1 SeptemberHow Green Was My Trevally

John Tarlton is a Californian-born New Zealand artist whose work shows his mastery of artistic techniques, his pervasive sense of humour, and his talent for storytelling. This exhibition was a survey of twenty years of Tarlton’s output, each piece imbued with a story that led the viewer on a journey of discovery.
A trio of Pasifika women work together on a large yellow quilt

5 April - 28 OctoberTaku P'eu Tupūna

"The culture of my ancestors is also mine." Work by the women of Vainetini o Manawatū, creating a distinctive tīvaivai manu tātaura (appliqué and embroidered quilt) and distinctive pare ‘ei (headdresses), combined with taonga from the Te Manawa collection to create an exhibition about community, artistry, and the passing on of skills and stories
A gold zoetrope spins in front of projections on the gallery wall

27 July - 28 OctoberControlled Environment Laboratory

Until its closure in 2013, the National Climate Laboratory, on the old DSIR campus near Massey University, was the home for scientific research into the complex inter-relationships between climate and plant growth. In 2014, artist Melissa Laing entered the building to begin her creative interrogation of its history and legacy. Through interviews, films, archival material and sculpture, she tells the story of a unique intersection of science, technology and social history in New Zealand, that took place here in the Manawatū.

27 July - 1 DecemberColin McCahon: A Centenary Exhibition

To mark the 100th birthday of New Zealand's most iconic artist on 1 August, Te Manawa created an exhibition of all Colin McCahon works in its collection. Special attention was paid to contextualising and demystifying the artist for audiences familiar with his work but unfamiliar with his practice.
Three crafted poi lie on a table

14 September - 1 DecemberNgā Kete Toi

This exhibition showcases the work of students, graduates and tutors of the Bachelor of Māori Arts degree in weaving at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, in Palmerston North.

1 November - 9 DecemberBeyond Closed Doors

An exhibition of works by members of the Womens' Art Initiative, re-examining perceptions of violence from the point of view of survivors.

16 November - 26 January 2020Make Me

Selected works by students graduating UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media programme.
Text: Mighty Small, Mighty Bright in yellow and red on a blue background

23 November - 19 September 2020Mighty Small, Mighty Bright

This touring show from MOTAT in Auckland was an interactive exploration into applications of photonics, advanced materials, and nanotech. These are some of the world’s most exciting scientific fields, and the exhibition explained what they are and how they get used outside the lab.
Orange and gold circles on a trio of black and yellow panels

November - 19 July 2020Multiples

A request to display Gerda Leenards Roaring 40s work gave us the opportunity to pull together a small number of works from our collection that complemented the work. The collection had the unifying theme of all works being in multiple parts.
Exhibition title: Animalia, surrounded by cartoon animals

7 December - COVID.Animalia

This colourful exhibition of works from our collections, all featuring animals as subjects, brought G5 to life. The theme pulled together glazed works from across our collections.
Large printed panels depicting regenerating forest stretch from floor to ceiling in an art gallery

12 December - 19 JulyA Songless Land

Whanganui-based artist Sue Cooke brought her large-scale print based exhibition to Te Manawa. A Songless Land remembered the forests of the past, highlighted the dangers of the present, and invited contemplation of a future rich in native trees.
Full length mirrors stand in the exhibition space

14 December - 16 May 2020Mirror Magic

This Te Manawa-developed touring science exhibition is a perennial favourite and it had another run in the sun over summer in the Atrium and Atrium Foyer