Unfolding book launches — a paper record on tour

Launched ʻwarmly out onto the waves’, new book \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// was first celebrated the other week in Kirikiriroa Hamilton at Ramp Festival 2023 on 8 August, 2023, and just days later, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space in Pōneke Wellington.

Third stop on the tour as it unfolds, is Tāmaki Makaurau at Te Tuhi, with a fourth in planning mode for Te Waipounamu South Island.

Edited by Catherine Griffiths and published by Vapour Momenta Books with the support of Creative New Zealand and Lost Time, Bruce Connew and Catherine took to the road with a car-load of books and an exhibition set of posters to accompany the inaugural launch with ĀKAU and friends from near and afar. Koha copies handed to contributors encountered along the way, the unfolding nature of this book launch is reminiscent of the 2019 poster project and exhibition hīkoi around Aotearoa before Covid struck the world.

ĀKAU wāhine toa tautoko Catherine and Designers Speak (Up) in setting the pukapuka out into the world / photos: Zhai Yu

25th Ramp Festival
Tuesday 8 August 2023 / 3:30–4:30pm
Social Space / R Block / Wintec
Kirikiriroa Hamilton

A heart-warming day with the many designers, artists, students and educators who attended ĀKAU’s presentation kōrero and our pukapuka celebration, morning talks by Stuart Geddes and Shane Cotton x Anthony Byrt: the whole filled with honesty, openness and warmth unmatched. A pōwhiri at Wintec’s Te Kopu Mania o Kirikiriroa Marae welcomed us, an open hāngī lunch prepared by the School of Media Arts community sustained us, and an exhibition opening at Ramp Gallery marked the end of the day.

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So much aroha and courage out there — mihi nunui to everyone who joined and supported the kaupapa of ʻ— a paper record.’, and above all Festival director Megan Lyon who supported the Creative New Zealand funding application to make the book, and invited us to participate in what was the final in 25 years of festival programming.

Generous and meaningful words were shared by Ramp Gallery director Wendy Richdale, Alice Connew, Katie Kerr, Aakifa Chida, Caroline Powley, Jo Walsh, Makareta Jankhe with Manawanui Ururoa (spot each in the slideshow) and waiata sung by ĀKAU, Tihei wa mauri ora, written by the late Mere Taylor-Tuiloma.  [photos thanks to Wintec’s Geoff Widder]

\\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// is dedicated to two wāhine toa, Megan Wraight and Mere Taylor-Tuiloma.

Fay McAlpine shares poignant words, with daughter Mia, and Paul Ransfield to the left, gallery director Daniel Sanders behind, and Vapour Momenta Books’ Bruce Connew, with Janet Bayly to the right / photo: CG

Enjoy Contemporary Art Space
Saturday 12 August / 2:00—4:00pm
Cuba Street
Pōneke Wellington

After Kirikiriroa, the book headed to Pōneke, to Enjoy Contemporary Art Space,  the last stop on the 2019 hīkoi under the director-ship of Sophie Davis, and, thanks to now director Daniel John Corbett Sanders and curator Brooke Pou, we were equally welcomed back on an impromptu whim.

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A very special gathering with a small group of designers, staunch supporters, whānau and friends, including Megan Wraight’s Paul Ransfield, with whom we acknowledged Megan and Mere, and our tūpuna, our ancestors. We celebrated with impassioned words from Emma Ng (only her coat caught on camera), Fay McAlpine and Catherine, concluding with Te Aroha. Kōrero over coffee, kanohi ki te kanohi. Snaps thanks to CG.


Te Tuhi
Saturday 26 August / 11:30am
13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Director Hiraani Himona and curator Andrew Kennedy have very generously offered to host the Tāmaki launch at the gallery with the Te Tuhi team. Please join us!


You are invited to the Tāmaki Makaurau launch of \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa—a paper record. /// with editor Catherine Griffiths in kōrero with Desna Whaanga-Schollum, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho and one or two more to be confirmed who have contributed to the book and the wider project. Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa—a paper record. documents the collective work of Aotearoa New Zealand’s feminist design community who participated in the 2019 poster project and exhibition hīkoi \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa /// led by typographer, designer and artist Catherine Griffiths, founder of the independent, volunteer non-profit platform Designers Speak (Up).

Copies of \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa—a paper record. /// will be available to view, with koha copies given out to contributors on the day, and a limited number available to purchase with cash or via internet banking.

Te Tuhi is pleased to host this book launch in conjunction with Catherine Griffiths’s exhibition 7/7, 14 views, on view from 20 August to 22 October 2023.


Smash Palace
Saturday 2 September / 2:00–5:00pm
172 High Street
Ōtautahi Christchurch

You’re invited to the Ōtautahi launch of \\\ Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// with Erin Broughton slinging copies at Smash Palace. We’re keeping it super casual, so stop in for a kōrero between 2–5pm. If you are contributor,  Erin has a koha copy for you to collect.


More to come as we update with photos and details. Read about \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa—a paper record. /// here  and the 2019 project here with copies available from our SHOP

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