IT’S not every day that a giant octopus from Aotearoa New Zealand takes up residence in the waters of Kangaroo Bay.
Ten Days on the Island and Clarence City Council have invited the Māori mythological goddess ‘Te Wheke-a-Muturangi’ – an awe-inspiring and fantastical installation of epic proportions – to journey across the Tasman during the festival this March.
In Māori mythology, Te Wheke-a-Muturangi is the giant octopus chased by Kupe, the legendary Polynesian navigator who discovered Aotearoa New Zealand.
During their epic chase, Kupe dealt many blows to Te Wheke, which eventually killed her. A red sunset reflecting on the sea is considered the blood let during their legendary battle.
Centuries later, the giant octopus from that story has travelled across the Tasman Sea to share her tale.
‘Te Wheke-a-Muturangi’ is the creation of multi-disciplinary Māori artist Lisa Reihana, whose renowned video work ‘In Pursuit of Venus [infected]’ garnered worldwide acclaim at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Throughout Ten Days on the Island, the giant colourful ‘Te Wheke-a-Muturangi’ will sit majestically amongst the boats beneath Kunanyi/Mount Wellington in the waters of Kangaroo Bay. Bring the family for a picnic and help us welcome Te Wheke to Lutruwita/Tasmania, before our extraordinary visitor begins her epic voyage back to her home across the sea.
For the Clarence City Council, this partnership with Ten Days on the Island is part of the council’s commitment to build relationships with major festivals; to increase the council’s ability to present high-quality projects to the Clarence and broader community; and to bring attention to the city for its wide- ranging cultural programs.
Families will also love another Ten Days on the Island Lutruwita/ Tasmanian and Aoteora New Zealand collaboration – the wonderful, heartwarming family theatre work
‘Hide the Dog’ at the Theatre Royal in Hobart. ‘Hide the Dog’ is the story of two besties, Niarra and Te Umuroa, who stumble upon the world’s last Tasmanian Tiger! Eager to save their new furry friend from wicked hunters, they cast off for Aotearoa.
But hiding a tiger is never plain sailing when powerful and playful Māori gods and palawa spirits are involved!
Adorable and fun, ‘Hide the Dog’ shares deep cultural knowledge and reveals profound connections across the two cultures. Co-written by Tasmanian playwright Nathan Maynard (pakana) and Aotearoa writer Jamie McCaskill (Māori), ‘Hide the Dog’ is a world-premiere production from Performing Lines TAS.
Intrepid explorers of all ages will delight in this heart-warming, family-friendly celebration of true friendship, big adventure, and the power of First Nations cultures. Tickets are available online at tendays.org.au