Two Maori artists are bringing their interpretation of Matariki to the walls of Northart gallery this month. For photographer Akura Makea-Pardington, Matariki is a time to grieve for the past, but also to celebrate whakapapa. Her collection, Spirit of Place, explores how people express their sense of selfhood and their beliefs on the land. Painter Frances Atkins' exhibition Tekau marks a decade of creative practice and her identity as an urban Maori woman, a painter and a mother. The shows will share an opening event at 4pm today.
June 5-22, 10am-4pm daily (except Queen's Birthday). Northart gallery, Ernie Mays St, Northcote.
Matariki, the Maori New Year, is marked by the rising of the Pleiades star cluster into the sky. Historically, it was a time of festivities to mark the end of the harvest and the start of winter, a time when the pataka kai (storehouses) were full. For Maori it marks the start of a new phase of life, and is associated with acknowledging ancestors who have passed away. The Matariki Dawn event will look at cultural and astronomical aspects of this group of spectacular stars, with a 360-degree planetarium show including Maori myths and stories.
Today until June 30, 7pm-8pm, Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak. Tickets $10 for kids, $12 for adults and $40 for a family. For more details and tickets call (09) 624 1246.
The ginkgo tree is sacred to the Chinese, who have used it for food and medicinal purposes since time immemorial. In Cornwall Park, a group of ginkgo were planted in the late 1960s when part of the old hospital building was removed. This Monday, their presence will be marked with a community celebration including traditional Chinese music, contemporary jazz, folk dancing and t'ai chi from the Onehunga Chinese Community Centre and the Hannah Chinese Dance group. There's also face painting, games and crafts for the kids.
June 6, 1pm-3pm, Golden Ginkgo, Pohutukawa Drive, Rangitoto Steps.
Tauranga's Escape! Festival is a meeting of the minds in the harbourside city, with some of the country's top thinkers sharing their knowledge until Monday. Speakers include novelist Greg McGee, anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles, chef Peter Gordon and former Cabinet Minister Margaret Wilson. Actor Michael Hurst will perform his one-man show No Holds Bard, while there's an Italian-theme morning tea with Nicky Pellegrino and workshops by journalist Steve Braunias (travel writing) and Donovan Bixley (for creative youngsters).
Today-Monday, Baycourt Theatre, Durham St, Tauranga.
If you gently wept at the death of pop legend Prince, tomorrow's the chance to seek refuge among like-minded fans at a screening and party to celebrate his life. The evening will kick off with a performance from singer and Prince fan Georgia Duder-Wood, followed by film Purple Rain. Capitol Cinema will then be transformed into club Electric Avenue, with DJ Erotic City playing Prince tunes late into the night. Punters are encouraged to dress to impress - the bigger the ruffle, the better.
Tomorrow, 7.30pm, with the screening at 8.30pm. Capitol Cinema, 610 Dominion Rd. Tickets $30.
Celebrate the best of British this Queen's Birthday Weekend at, you guessed it, Queens Wharf. The monarch is 90 years old this year, and Queen Elizabeth II's birthday will be marked on the waterfront with a makers' market. The arts and craft market will include specially imported British and Scottish products and London bus signs, along with countless New Zealand treasures. There will also be street performances, with the Waitakere Brass Band playing British classics, a James Bond-esque vintage car display, a dog show, and seaside carnival games and rides.
High Tea will even be on offer, at The Cloud.
Today-Monday, 10am - 4pm, Queens Wharf, The Cloud and Shed 10. Free entry.
PLAN AHEAD FOR NEXT WEEK
The best of contemporary dancing will be on display at Q Theatre with the return of Mana Wahine, by the Okareka Dance Company. This publication's own reviewer Bernadette Rae has described the all-woman, five-dancer show as "a wealth of cultural wisdom, come together in one of the best contemporary dance performances we have seen in years". It tells the true story of Te Aokapurangi - a young maiden from Mokoia Island who, after being captured in battle by a Far North tribe, returned and single-handedly saved her people from slaughter.
It premiered in 2014, and is back for a strictly limited season. June 7-11, Q Theatre. Book at qtheatre.co.nz
Sit & knit
There's nothing like knitting to bring a community together, and this winter the Auckland War Memorial Museum is hosting a "Sit & Knit" to do just that. The sewing initiative Sew Love is being held to promote the World War I Centenary Exhibition, Home Front, which explores life in New Zealand during WWI. At that time, the country was swept up in fundraising campaigns to support the war efforts overseas and knitting bees were common. The clicking needles at Sew Love will be used to create a peggy-square blanket to be donated to Auckland City Mission. Watch the museum's video to learn how to knit a peggy square, and bring it to the museum to join the super blanket.
June 18, 10am- 4pm, Auckland Museum. See aucklandmuseum.com for instructional video.
Want to get into cycling but not sure where to start? The Great Auckland Bike Market could be the place. There will be bikes to suit every age, style and budget at the market, hosted by Auckland Transport to encourage cycling in the city. You can also bring your own bike to sell or swap, and there will be free servicing and DIY workshops led by Bigfoot Adventures.
June 12, 10am-3pm, The Cloud, Queens Wharf.
Hamilton will be fashionable next weekend, with Breast Cancer Cure's exclusive fundraiser Fashion for a Cure taking over Wintec. Ten of the country's top designers will showcase their ranges: Trelise Cooper, Ruby, Andrea Moore, Liam, Working Style, Zambesi, Storm, Moochi, COOP and Taylor. All proceeds will go towards supporting research into breast cancer.