And Then What - art and activism through a Pacific lens

And Then What? is the tenth tertiary exhibition which runs from August 14 to September 16 at the St Paul St Gallery, supported by Tautai. It features work by artists currently studying in Auckland or Wellington: Katharine Atafu-Mayo, Daniel Ellison, Jessie Hack, Taiese John Leapai, ‘Ofa Lehā, Tehlor-Lina Mareko, ‘Uhila Kanongata'a Nai, Tyrun Posimani, Kahurangiariki Smith, Lastman So'oula and Naawie Tutugoro.



And Then What? includes installations, performative and sound works, moving image and painting. As well as opening night performances and artists talks, the project includes a women’s only gathering that focuses on cultural ceremonies, attitudes to sex and blood rites.


The group were selected by Rosanna Raymond to respond to the ‘provocation’: “What are you as an artist contributing to the current POLYtical environment?


Does politics have a place your art practice, what does art and activism look like through a Pacific lens?”


Topics that are explored include colonial histories, their effects on culture, identity loss and choice - and how these elements play out in Aotearoa today.


The Tautai tertiary exhibition has evolved since its beginnings in 2009. The first six annual exhibitions held at ST PAUL St Gallery featured Auckland-based artists. In 2015, the online offering, The Drowned World opened the project up to student artists throughout the country.


In 2016 the show evolved into a biennial cycle, enlisting experienced curators to lead projects and extending its reach with an expanded public programme and a Wellington exhibition following the Auckland debut.


The tertiary exhibition provides student artists the opportunity to better understand how an exhibition is put together and provides participating artists with additional professional development opportunities – including presenting an artist talk and having their work critiqued by people from outside their tertiary institution.


“Participating in a major exhibition is most definitely a great experience for these developing artists,” Rosanna Raymond says. “They are having to work to deadlines that are not flexible, working with a professional gallery and the installation process, as well as presenting their work to the wider public. There are so many pluses in this for them.”


ST PAUL St Gallery Director Charlotte Huddleston says, “The Tautai tertiary exhibition is a hugely significant recurring event and we are proud to have hosted it since the start in 2009. It’s a real highlight for artists’ friends and families, and our audiences to see new work by emerging artists.


We see it as a way to support the development of students’ practices and contribute to the health and wealth of Pacific arts practices.”


For more information on the curator and students go to