They’re expecting 10,000 people to show up and buy some or all of the NZ$3m worth of Maori art put together near Wellington:
The Maori art market at Pataka Museum has more than 2000 works, including paintings, jewellery, sculpture and fashion. “In the 35 to 40 years I’ve been involved in the contemporary art movement, this is by far the biggest show we’ve ever run,” says Darcy Nicholas, creative director. In fact it’s the largest collection of contemporary Maori artwork ever assembled, showcasing over 200 artists. But this growing movement isn’t caused by local interest, but rather international demand.
“A lot of buyers are extremely wealthy people who take a great interest in collecting Maori art.” Nigel Reading co-directs an art gallery in Vancouver, where he says Maori art is highly sought. He has come here just for this exhibition. “I truly believe that Maori art is one of the world’s best-kept secrets.”