Skip Content
Toi Koru: Sandy Adsett at Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

Esteemed Māori artist, and a master of kōwhaiwhai, Sandy Adsett, is currently showcasing 60 pieces of his mahi toi, spanning his 6 decade career.

The exhibition, Toi Koru: Sandy Adsett, opened at Waikato Museum | Te Whare Taonga o Waikato on 29 September and displays loaned pieces from galleries and museums around the motu, as well as many from Sandy’s own collection.

The exhibition opening was attended by a number of kaimahi from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, where Sandy once taught and mentored countless tauira.

Sandy has a long and significant history with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. He was part of the team that created Toimairangi School of Māori Visual Art in 2002, and he is seen as the founder of rauangi at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Despite being a long-established artist, with a career of more than 60 years, this is only Sandy’s third solo exhibition. A humble man, he’s preferred to avoid the spotlight, but has always firmly believed in the importance of toi Māori.

Now retired from teaching Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Arts (Rauangi), Sandy’s journey in the toi Māori space began at a time when he says, no one was doing mahi toi.

He was always drawn to colour, and wanting to colour in as a child, but ultimately he wanted to use his skills to bring light and awareness to toi Māori.

Liz Cotton, Director Museum and Arts at Waikato Museum, is thrilled to have an exhibition of such high calibre at their whare taonga and acknowledges the work of her team to bring Toi Koru to their gallery space and create such a beautiful exhibition for the Museum’s visitors.

Toi Koru exhibition first opened in Porirua in 2021 and was curated by Reuben Friend, a former tauira of Sandy, and former director at Te Pātaka Art + Museum.

Toi Koru is on display at Waikato Museum | Te Whare Taonga o Waikato now until 10 March 2024. Entry is free.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 09 October 2023

Article By: Gemma Bradly-Jacka

Other Articles

  • 16 May 2024

    Kawerau local lives out childhood dream of learning to weave

    As a young girl, Barbara Wheto always had a fascination with harakeke and the art of weaving. But growing up in an era where being Māori and Māori culture were scorned upon, she was never encouraged to explore the art form.

  • 09 May 2024

    Wānanga scholarship supports tauira in completing Master of Architecture thesis

    The 2023 Dr. Buck Nin Memorial Scholarship recipient for Māori contemporary art was 23-year-old Antonia van Sitter, who put the funds towards completing her Master of Architecture thesis.

  • 09 May 2024

    Rodney Whanga, Te Matatini Scholarship award winner

    Mahia te mahi hei oranga whakatipu, hei oranga tuku iho mō te iwi, ahakoa ngā piere nuku o te wā. Ko Rodney Whanga o Tainui waka, nō ngā iwi o Ngāti Maniapoto me Waikato te whakatinanatanga o te kōrero nei.

  • 08 May 2024

    University Associate Professor committed to reo Māori journey

    Sondra Bacharach is no stranger to education. She currently teaches a university philosophy programme in Aotearoa and has experienced classroom environments as a student within the American, French and German education systems.