TENT is a new Art Weekend taking place throughout Aotearoa and online, presented by the team who deliver the Auckland Art Fair.  The inaugural edition of TENT will feature live exhibitions across the country and also online, and will take place from Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 November across New Zealand.

Galleries are invited to present an off-site / pop-up exhibition, anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand (but NOT in their own gallery space) – and at the same time, show the art online in specially created online viewing rooms.

Your first chance to see (and buy) the art will be in an online preview on Thursday 4 November. The live exhibitions will open in the different locations across the country, from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 November, with an accompanying programme of special events, curated walks, chances to meet artists and more, taking place over the three days.

To keep up to date with the participating galleries and artists and where the exhibitions will be, subscribe below and follow @aotearoaartfair on instagram and facebook.


TENT pitching is what we do here.

Whether it’s Cook in the Coromandel whacking in a few poles and throwing an old sail over the telescope to protect his 1769 Transit of Mercury observation or the large marquee put up in 1840 on the front lawn of British Resident, James Busby’s Bay of Islands house, as crowds of local Māori and Pākehā gathered to discuss signing the Treaty of Waitangi, right from the get go, the relocatable, multi-purpose, often improvised tent has been that unassuming but practical structure able to accommodate us all.

Tents are a significant shape in our collective memory and myth. The pull of guy rope and snap of canvas sings to who we are and where we have been. From the conquest of Everest to the mud of Flanders, from protest embassy in the grounds of Parliament to pavilion at an agricultural machinery show, from Christmas holidays at the beach to character-building bush camps with the Girl Guides, from 21st birthday parties at the marae to cake stalls at the church fair, tents are about place. Our place. And the ordinary-extraordinary life, art and culture that goes on in and around them.

TENT: title concept and text by Mokopōpaki


We are pleased to announce that the 2022 Art Fair will be renamed as the Aotearoa Art Fair.  This is a reflection of the changes in the Fair over the last four editions, to establish the event as a showcase for the outstanding art and artists of the wider Pacific Rim, as experienced in Aotearoa New Zealand.  The Fair welcomes galleries not only from across Aotearoa, but also from Australia, parts of South East Asia, the west coasts of North and South America, and the Pacific Islands.  The name change is a reflection of what the Fair does, and we look forward to continuing to present the breadth and diversity of some of the best art and artists working in our region.

Installation view of Ou Jin 欧劲 artwork in the SPURS Gallery booth at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin

Installation view of Shane Cotton artwork in the McCahon House booth at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin

Installation view of Daniel Boyd artwork in the STATION booth at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin

Record sales of art at the 2021 Art Fair!

It was a privilege to hold a live Art Fair in February 2021 and the Fair is delighted to report that more than NZ$10 million worth of art was sold by 38 galleries at the 2021 Art Fair, exceeding sales in previous years by $1million*. Proceeds of the art sold go entirely to the artists and their galleries, making the Fair a significant cultural and economic event for visual arts in Aotearoa, especially at a time when artists and galleries have been impacted by recent global events.

More than 7000 visitors attended the Fair from all over New Zealand, to view and celebrate the outstanding contemporary art of Aotearoa and the Pacific Rim region.

The 2021 Auckland Art Fair was one of the first Art Fairs to take place anywhere in the world since Covid-19 took hold last year.  “With almost every other international Art Fair in the world cancelled, including the 2020 Auckland Art Fair, it was a privilege to hold a live Art Fair in 2021 and we are delighted with the results. Even the 2021 Auckland Art Fair was delivered against a status quo of uncertainty, with Alert Level 3 in Auckland the week before we opened and the day before we were due to close.” said Stephanie Post and Hayley White, co-directors of the Fair.

The first ever summer edition of the Auckland Art Fair opened at The Cloud on Wednesday 24 February and was scheduled to run until Sunday 28 February, but had to close one day early due to the introduction of Alert Level 3 for Auckland on the final day.

Highlights included the participation of four galleries from Australia, and one each from Rarotonga and China, despite closed international borders.  These galleries sent the art from overseas and worked with locals to manage their stands.

The 2021 Art Fair also saw the presentation by Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre of Len Lye’s major kinetic sculpture Big Blade, never before seen in Auckland, at the entrance to the Fair. Plus a new outdoor sculpture space overlooking the Waitematā Harbour.

Auckland Art Fair is very grateful to major partners, ANZ Private and Auckland Unlimited for their ongoing support throughout 2020 and 2021.

In Residence

In Residence is a new initiative for artist-run spaces at the Art Fair on the Mezzanine of The Cloud. While the Art Fair has supported emerging artists through Piki Mai: Up Here ^^ since 2018 and the Projects programme since 2016, In Residence provided curatorial support and helped ensure that the full cost of participation was covered for each booth through successfully spearheading a Boosted campaign.

The spaces who showed are mothermother, Parasite, RM Gallery and Project Space, Satchi & Satchi & Satchi and Wet Green. Each unique in the ways they operate, they form a vibrant and important part of Aotearoa’s art ecology and help provide an essential opportunity for experimentation with exhibition-making and art practice through bringing energy and a new perspective to their presentations. 

This new section of the Fair was facilitated by Becky Hemus, a writer and curator based in Tāmaki Makaurau who is also a co-founder of Wet Green and May Fair Art Fair. In Residence included artist talks and a commissioned text was distributed alongside each presentation. It was the first time that so many artist-run spaces were able to participate in the Fair.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Boosted campaign to make this endeavour possible. Your support, along with funding from Creative New Zealand for RM, enabled this project to become a reality.

A Base of People

At the Fair a series of three panel discussions took place, designed to stimulate public debate in the framework of the Art Fair.

Considering the unique position of Aotearoa as a place for contemporary art production, local and international artists, writers and cultural actors discussed thought-provoking questions, each drawing from their personal knowledge and lived experience rather than putting forward a theoretical approach.

A Base of People was curated by Remco de Blaaij (Director of Artspace Aotearoa) on behalf of Ngātahi (a collaboration between Auckland arts organisations Artspace Aotearoa, Gus Fisher Gallery, Objectspace, ST PAUL St Gallery, Te Tuhi and Te Uru) and supported by Creative New Zealand.

The talks were recorded and are available to watch below.

Parallel Worlds, a new imagination on internationality

If we think about international links, what is the imagination of Aotearoa in the rest of the world, and what is now expected from a diverse range of practices and knowledge coming out of Aotearoa? What are the demands put on Indigenous work, both by public organisations, as well as by individual collectors? What is needed to provide more manaakitanga for these works in frameworks that are seemingly not designed to house them?

The panel was led by Ioana Gordon-Smith with Tim Melville, Ema Tavola and Kimberley Moulton.

How and When?

Thinking through artistic and curatorial examples of Aotearoa based exhibitions, what are the examples we need to learn from more and better. If then, how, and when do we need to look at new ways of presenting, representing ‘new’ art from Aotearoa? What are the systems required and are the uses of our institutions still relevant?

The panel was led by Remco de Blaaij with Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua, Ngahiraka Mason, Nigel Borell and Ashleigh Taupaki.

Collecting anew

Who and what are the new collectors? Should we talk simply about a new generation of collectors, or do we see a shift of focus in the attention of new collectors? What are the social motivations for collectors to collect and do they apply a more ‘ethical’ and political approach in their work? How do artists develop new ways of making a market for themselves, one that considers new infrastructures beyond galleries alone?

The panel was led by Remco de Blaaij with Hannah Chiaroni Clarke, Nikau Hindin, Jennie Hu and Nomadic Art Gallery (prerecorded response).

Projects 2021

Present Tense

Within the world of art, there is a long history of informal exchange, including a special type of transaction between artists borne from admiration, camaraderie and, often, rivalry. Despite an increasingly corporate and cut-throat art world, this long history of the artist trade or swap has remained stable—testament to the fact that artists, by and large, are the best collectors. They are the last to think of art as a commodity and the first to consider themselves custodians of a given work, relishing its sentiment and meaning above all else.

Building upon the spirit of the artist exchange, Auckland Art Fair’s 2021 Projects Present Tense draws together six early-career New Zealand artists in a series of commissioned unfolding interventions that continue the Fair’s initiatives to encourage contemplation and debate. As an alternative model to the commercial exchange of the Art Fair, each artist has created endless copies of an object that will be given away and/or traded with audiences in contexts that reinforce personal and communal bonds over the individualising effects of the cash-based exchange.

Burning with the realities of the global pandemic, each artist’s work is suffused with a will to repair and rebind the fissures, incoherence and disconnection of our time—directly responding to the present through activations guided by feeling, human connection and the personal. From soap to abandoned birds’ nests, ceramic totems, postcards, scented blotters and sand, each artist has transmuted seemingly everyday objects that are a part of our recognisable reality into a poetic meditation on today’s issues—offering audiences a different type of transaction that takes place outside of the usual business of art collecting.

– Micheal Do, Curator


Casey Carsel, knobl—soup!, 2020. Installation view at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Casey Carsel and knobl—soup! 

Tanya Martusheff, of a dilemma, 2021. Installation view at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Tanya Martusheff and of a dilemma

Lucy Meyle, Local Branch, 2021. Installation view at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Lucy Meyle and Local Branch

Elisabeth Pointon, SOMETHING BIG., 2021. Installation view at Tiffany & Co. during the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Elisabeth Pointon and SOMETHING BIG.

Becky Richards, An Egg, A Seed, A Stone, 2020-2021. Installation view at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Becky Richards and An Egg, A Seed, A Stone

Ashleigh Taupaki, One, 2021. Installation view at Yu Mei during the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Click here to read more about Ashleigh Taupaki and One

Sculpture Space

For the first time, the Fair included an outdoor Sculpture Space overlooking the Waitematā Harbour.  This area was enjoyed by visitors who were able to spend time outside at the Fair drinking and eating among the sculptures.

The Sculpture Space featured large scale sculptures by Fatu Feu’u, Chauncey Flay, Gill Gatfield, Gregor Kregar and Yolunda Hickman.

Chauncey Flay, Osterns Inversion I and Osterns Inversion II, 2021, New Zealand greywacke and steel, 3700mm H. Courtesy of the artist and Laree Payne Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Gill Gatfield, The Snake Charmer, 2012, black granite, 1950H x 500 x 100mm. Courtesy of the artist and Scott Lawrie Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Gregor Kregar, Fragmented Echo, 2014, stainless steel with corten steel base, approx. 4500 x 2200 x 2200mm. Courtesy of the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Gregor Kregar, Reflective Lullaby – Phillip, 2021, stainless steel with corten steel base, approx. 5000 x 1500 x 1500mm. Courtesy of the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Fatu Feu’u, Samoan Goddess, 2005, acrylic and oil on Macrocarpa, 2220 x 600 x 485mm. Courtesy of the artist and ARTIS Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Fatu Feu’u, Ukelele Island Sway, 2013, wood & iron, 2730 x 700 x 300mm. Courtesy of the artist and ARTIS Gallery. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Yolunda Hickman, Thicket (paisleydolphinsnakeskincarcondensationbottle
britishcamoufluagedogfireiceblockwoodlandalbatross), 2021, polyvinyl alcohol, resin, fibreglass and lacquer on marine ply, 280 x 140 x 140 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sumer. Photograph by Luke Foley-Martin.

Curatorial Workshop

For the first time, the 2021 Art Fair offered a three-day curatorial workshop for early-career curators / artists. Convened by Christina Barton (director Adam Art Gallery Te Pataka Toi), Micheal Do (curator Contemporary Visual Art, Sydney Opera House and Projects 2021) and Chloe Geoghegan, (curator at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery) the workshop was designed to take full advantage of the confluence of people and plethora of events that take place in and around the Art Fair.

Twelve participants were selected from 50 applications and included aspiring writers, early-career art professionals, postgraduate students, and young artists from as far afield as Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. The workshop programme was devised for them to meet gallerists, curators, and artists; visit the Fair and other exhibitions and spaces in central Auckland; debate key issues; and seek answers about how to navigate the art system.

The workshop was free to participate in and made possible through generous support from Victoria University of Wellington, Te Herenga Waka and Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.


“The best thing about the workshop was its structure, including its structured unstructuredness. The workshop acted as a great framework to position participants in a really generative setting–in the Fair, with each other–from which we could then forge our own relationships and ideas.”

– Workshop participant


“It was a long overdue social exercise, meeting / remeeting with peers outside of our immediate circumstances made for a thrilling few days. It was worthwhile in the case that the structure brought together artists / curators /writers, you could say from various camps. The workshop enabled a platform where we were able to begin navigating meaningful interpersonal and collective conversations that may well have otherwise been left unrealised for many years or never happened at all. After last week I personally feel a little less in a shadow.”

– Workshop participant


“I learnt from you that you need stamina to survive this art game, and that you acquire more as you grow older! Also not to wait for opportunities, make them happen – I wish I had gone to this workshop straight out of artschool – it was so inspiring and motivating, and reinstated my (sometimes cynical) faith in art.”

– Workshop participant

Visit Auckland

To celebrate our continued partnership with Auckland Unlimited, their team interviewed artists, Yolunda Hickman and Yona Lee, and gallery owner and director Scott Lawrie, to find out more about their favourite places in this vibrant city.

Yolunda Hickman, represented by Sumer

Yona Lee, represented by Fine Arts, Sydney

Scott Lawrie of Scott Lawrie Gallery