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Interacting with Drift by Dale Cotton and Gina Ferguson as a part of Te Whāriki

Te Whāriki

Te Whāriki – Gina Ferguson

Woven recycled rubber hosing, cable ties

Te Whāriki, situated in the landscape offers a discourse with people and place. We land here to listen, to tune into the whenua, to remember, to hold time and stories, to let bodies rest, lie, roll, walk, talk, eat, laugh, sit, dance, mourn, dream and reflect. A surface of woven threads – a membrane between the body and the earth that cushions, warms and protects. Te Whāriki threads the practices of local artists across the landscape – a cloak, a mat, a blanket, a membrane, a surface, a cover, a skin, to unfold and fold, to weave connections. Settling while time slows and the grass continues to grow beneath.

1. Gina Ferguson and Dale Cotton 28 October – 20 November

2. Claire O’Neil 22 – 26 November

3. Becca Wood 30 November – 16 December

Interacting with A Conversation by Becca Wood, Pouroto Ngaropō and participants as a part of Te Whāriki

3. A Conversation, Becca Wood, Pouroto Ngaropo and participants, 2022

Two people sit on a large woven mat, Te Whāriki, overlooking the Puna, wearing headphones. They are tethered together and are tuning into the same sound source. Maybe they know each other? Or perhaps they are two strangers that are meeting for the first time. Located on the banks of the puna on the campus of Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka, the participants are cocooned by a headphonic soundscore. Interconnecting stories are woven together, threading the significance and genealogy of the site into an immersive one-to-one audio experience. The land, the puna and its whakapapa are given a voice, and the sound leads the two participants into their imaginations in an intimate journey across time and space. In a chorus of voices, the story of Wairaka unfolds while the borders of our bodies and the landscape fall away. 


This is a place to settle. It is a moment in time to slow down, to listen and to tune into the landscape and the skyscape with the ‘warp and weft’ of polyphonic threads that create relationships and conversation.

Saturday 3rd December – 15.00 to 17.30 (5 sessions)

Sunday 4th December – 15.00 to 17.30 (5 sessions)

Monday 5th December – 12.30 to 13.30 (2 sessions)

Tuesday 6th December – 12.30 to 13.30 (2 sessions)

Wednesday 7th December – 12.30 to 13.30 (2 sessions)

Saturday 10th December – 15.00 to 17.30 (5 sessions)

This work is participatory and experienced in pairs on-site at the Unitec campus on Carrington Road. Either book with a friend or book on your own and meet with someone you don’t know. Details of where to meet will be sent to you with your booking confirmation.


A collaborative sound work by Becca Wood and Pouroto Ngaropo.

Soundscape design by Peter Hobbs.

Scriptwriting support from René Le Bas.


2. Tinana – A Body, Claire O'Neil, 2022


Reflecting on the great migration vessel as well as our own watery bodies as carriers of knowledge, this 25 min regenerative choreography invites participants to move in relation to compositional offerings and movement scenes that unfold before them. In the landscape surrounding the puna, bodies weave and return to ‘flow’ between environment and action. Standing together, the wairua of individuals is nurtured through heightened sensory awareness to site, Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka and its innate history.


This site-based choreography works with the breath that drives us to learn and produce, as the same breath that surrenders us to be attentive to our interconnectedness. In creating new currents for placemaking rituals, an intercultural space of exchange enables ways to relate and carry processes that we care for, and let go of the ones that hinder our fluid interweaving futures.     


Tuesday 22nd November 16.30

Thursday 24th November 18.00

Saturday 26th November 13.00 to 13.30 (followed by catered kai and discussion at Puukenga - next to the puna and Te Noho Kotahitanga marae)


Choreographic Direction: Claire O’Neil

Movement Hosts: Stephen Bain and Paul Young

Performers: 2nd and 3rd year Unitec Dance students

Location: Entry point to Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae ātea (forecourt) – Farm Road (off Carrington Road).    

Still image from Tinana - a Body, Claire O'Neill, 2022


Still image from Tinana - a Body, Claire O'Neill, 2022


Still image from "Tinana - a Body," Claire O'Neill, 2022

Close up of Drift weaving into the landscape.

1. Drift, Gina Ferguson and Dale Cotton, 2022


Woven recycled rubber hosing, cable ties, polyester & styrofoam (filling); Underwater sound recording with field recordings, moving image 26mins.

*To fully experience this work you will need headphones and a smartphone with a QR scanner.

‘Nau mai ki te pera urunga I moea ai e rātou kua tau noa mai’ 

Welcome to the pillow on which rests the dreams of those who came before you.(1) 

The woven blanket recalls a space between the body, land and water, wake and sleep, life and death, and the precariousness of the future. Breathe, listen, and consider how the aural and tactile strands are like echoes giving a voice to the spring ‘Te Puna Wai Unuroa o Wairaka’ as each ripple resonates. Drift references the moment when the subconscious and conscious blur offering a slippage between time and space.  

Start listening to the sound of water.  Listening is the voice of Love, Hope and Peace.(2) 


To drift is to float,  

To flow on a current and be carried,  

To move and shift across. 

To feel a ripple, an echo.  

To weave. 

To pause is a moment of rest,  

To then sit, lie and breathe.  

To feel the ground beneath the weave and listen to the sound of Te Puna Wai Unuroa o Wairaka, 

To hear the sound within the water, under the rocks. 

To give voice to what has been silent. 

To consider the body, land and water as one. 

To think of what has come before.  

To listen. 

To breathe. 

To listen once more… 


By listening.  Listening that is inclusive of Te Puna Wai Unuroa o Wairaka, Maunga whakahirahira, Tane Mahuta, Nga Awa whakahirahira that allows us to know ourselves. (3)  

(1) Excerpt from a mihi/greeting sign located at Heron Park, Waterview. 

(2) Haare Williams (2017). Te Puna Wai Unuroa o Wairaka.  

(3) Haare Williams (2022). Personal communication.  

Drift, details from the audio/ visual file

Drift, detail of woven rubber with excerpt from audio visual file (image and video supplied)

Screenshot 2022-11-29 at 5.48.40 pm.png

Te Whāriki by Gina Ferguson, installed at the site

Artist Bios: 


3. Becca Wood has worked in performance practices that slip between the intersections of the body, space and digital environments since the late 1990’s. Her interest in this interdisciplinary terrain comes from years of working between the disciplines of design, spatial and choreographic practices. Becca is a Senior Lecturer in performing and screen arts, Postgraduate Studies Discipline Leader, and Research Leader in the School of Creative Industries at Unitec. Becca has contributed to numerous publications and performance events in Aotearoa and in a global context, particularly in the UK.

2. Claire O'Neil is an international performer, choreographer and dance educator with over 25 years’ experience in the field of contemporary dance. She lived in Belgium for 10 years and worked with several prestigious European contemporary dance / theatre companies such as Paris Opera, Ballet Preljocaj, Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez and Hans Van den Broeck/Cie. SOIT.  Claire returned home and achieved a Masters in Dance with first class honours from the University of Auckland in 2016. She has incorporated various forms of movement training, creative practice, embodied inquiry and social philosophy into her contemporary techniques and performance-making. Claire is artistic director of fidget collective and has created, collaborated and presented over 35 performances. She has won awards for her performance works (Tempo Festival 2008 ‘Best Choreography from an Established Choreographer – MTYLand, Wellington Fringe Festival Best Dance Production 2015 – Just Bet/ween Us) and has received several grants and scholarships furthering her investigations in the expanding field of contemporary dance. Claire features in Sue Healy’s award winning dance documentary Virtuosi. Currently she lives in Tāmaki Makaurau with her two girls, Georgie and Iris. She is a dance lecturer at Unitec Performing and Screen Arts , a movement coach for team programs and has started a Ph.D. practice-led research dealing with dance, site and wellbeing.

1. Gina Ferguson (MFA/ BFA) is a multi-disciplinary practicing artist, a Senior Lecturer and Curator for Gallery One in the Department of Design and Contemporary Arts, Creative Industries at Unitec in Auckland. She has exhibited in both New Zealand and Australia. She has been a selected finalist and winner in national art awards, exhibited in numerous major national sculpture trails and has work in public and private collections within New Zealand. A background in working independently and collaboratively with other artists alongside the relationship between academia and practice informs her approach to making.  Textural in form, her research draws upon the connotations that are evoked by materiality and site, which are particular to Aotearoa, New Zealand. There is an exploration of the haptic through experience and physical encounter as the audience informs and interacts with the work to engage ideas surrounding memory and the body. 


1. Dale Cotton (Dip Audio Production, MMus) is a practicing artist and media professional with many New Zealand music awards to his name. Cotton primarily works within the context of music and sonic art composition, data visualisation and sonification, production design, moving image and installation. His inspiration comes from the history of music and visual art as well as the immediate matter of the world around us. He is fascinated by the way these things behave, how they are generated, and by systems and data and the traces that those systems and data reveal. These interests have led his work into worlds of cutting-edge technologies, new media and sonification. Binding together these inspirations enables an overarching search for new modes of artistic expression and an investigation into the way it can touch and inform the viewer and listener.  

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