Edith Amituanai: Double Take
Curated by Ane Tonga
11 May – 14 July 2019

Edith Amituanai: Double Take is the first exhibition to survey artist Edith Amituanai’s practice in its entirety. Presenting over 60 photographs, it provides insights into the various bodies of work she has produced since 2003 which draw attention to the experiences of Pacific people as well as other diasporic communities both within New Zealand and further afield. Imaging people and domestic spaces in her immediate neighbourhood of Ranui in West Auckland and extending to Samoa, the USA and beyond, she provides a lens on what she describes as a ‘third-wave migration’ driven by diverse economic and social forces that propel the movement of Pacific Island communities from their homelands. Double Take invites us to reconsider these works for the critical insights they reveal of the artist’s use of and belief in the photographic medium. Suspended in place and time we see the inner and outer worlds of those pictured and, for a moment, envisage ourselves there.

Edith Amituanai was born in 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2005 she completed a Bachelor of Design (majoring in photography) at Unitec Institute of Technology, before completing a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 2009. In 2007, Amituanai was the first recipient of the Art Foundation’s Marti Friendlander Photographic Award. The following year she was nominated for the Walters Prize at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Amituanai undertook the Taipei Artist Village Residencyin 2014 and was the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Hastings City Art Gallery in 2017. She has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums across Aotearoa and internationally in Australia, Austria, Taiwan, Germany and France. Her artwork is held in national collections including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Amituanai is represented by Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland.


Opening weekend events

Friday 10 May, 6-8pm
Exhibition opening
Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi

Join us for the opening of Edith Amituanai: Double Take. The exhibition will be opened by Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Saturday 11 May, 11am
Exhibition tour: Edith Amituanai and Ane Tonga
Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi

Join us for a tour of Edith Amituanai: Double Take with artist Edith Amituanai and curator Ane Tonga.

Saturday 11 May, 1pm
Talk: Haruhiko Sameshima
New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata

In conjunction with the exhibition Edith and George: in our sea of islands at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Auckland-based photographer Haruhiko Sameshima presents an illustrated talk exploring Edith Amituanai’s place within documentary and studio photographic traditions in New Zealand.


Our full public programme can be viewed here and has been organised by Herbert Bartley, Senior Pasifika Advisor at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University. We greatly acknowledge the support of Massey University.

The forthcoming publication Edith Amituanai: Double Take features a lead essay by Ane Tonga and further contributions by Anna Miles and Edith Amituanai, Christina Barton, Haruhiko Sameshima and Niko Besnier. A launch date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Download the media release “New photography exhibition a first for Edith Amituanai and Adam Art Gallery”.

For further information and press inquiries, please contact Stephen Cleland stephen.cleland@vuw.ac.nz 04 463 5229.