Our Air, Our Breath, Our Wind

Art + Science Exhibition - NZ (Int.) Science festival

Pam McKinlay Community Project crop


03 July 23 –
08 July 23


Te Whare o Rukutia | Community Gallery and Theatre Space
20 Princes Street
Dunedin 9016,
New Zealand

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Artists and scientists bring you explorations on the theme of AIR.

We are air-born. We can last three weeks without food, 3-4 days without water, but mere minutes without air. In Te Ao Māori, hau is the breath or wind of life. Hau is the force that drives the entire world, not just human relations. Air/breath/wind is the nebulous thing that connects all living beings.

Come by the gallery to see a variety of hands-on activities from community projects, including Insp-AIR-ation (art and science), Air Time mosaic, Otago Harbour air quality, Backyard Diversity artworks and Taoko Pūoro and Miheke Oro – Musical Instruments of Māori and Moriori.


(An art and science community project)

In this art and science community project, arts facilitator Pam McKinlay, has worked with multiple community and school groups in a project to make 60 co-created citizen-art banners which explore communities’ values, hopes, aspirations and inspirations about AIR. A focus of the schools’ project was to explore photosynthesis, solar energy and how we breathe. For humankind air is life. 

Air Time community mosaic

(Dr Jenny Rock + Metservice)

In this sci-art project ‘AirTime’ Jenny Rock collaborated with Lewis Ferris, communications meteorologist at MetService, to visualise records of Dunedin air temperature.  Come help finish our art mosaic! 

Backyard Diversity

(Dr Jenny Rock & Catriona McLeod + Manaaki Whenua)  

The Manaaki Whenua Backyard Biodiversity Project uses multimedia approaches to explore our individual and collective perspectives on what biodiversity matters and how we enhance it. Come see the visions of other Dunedinites, and explore your own.

Taoko Pūoro and Miheke Oro – Musical Instruments of Māori and Moriori

(Moriori, Music & Manawa team) Music is a force like the wind – unseen but felt. In the Polynesian conception, winds carry messages: a wind brings the thoughts of a lover, another wind the premonition of a death or danger. (Nunns and Thomas, 2014). See musical instruments that whakapapa to Māori taoko pūoro and hokopapa to Moriori miheke oro. Learn about their spiritual uses, visit remarkable sites from Rēkohu|Chatham Islands filmed for the Moriori Sound Atlas, see flutes carved from hopo|albatross wing bone and 3-D printed from the scan of a precious hopo | albatross bone flute held in Canterbury Museum. This work is helping revitalise Moriori cultural knowledge.  

Hear the evocative sounds of taoko pūoro and miheke oro in a workshop with Jennifer Cattermole, one of Aotearoa’s leading ethnomusicologists.

Visit event page.

Healthy air is no pleasure cruise

(Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies)

How much do cruise ships contribute to poor air quality in Port Chalmers? 
Around the world the cruise ships are recognized as a significant source of air pollution around the docks where they berth. We work with Port Otago, schools and community groups to develop projects to access the impact of cruise ships and other large vessels on air quality around the port and further afield.

For the full programme for the event, visit: Our Air, Our Breath, Our Wind | NZ Science Festival (scifest.org.nz)