Ōtairongo takes out BEST Awards

Tyrone Ohia and Extended Whānau have taken out two purple pins, four golds and one silver for ÕTAIRONGO design at the BEST Awards. It is truly an honour to work with Tyrone and for this project and kaupapa to be recognised with these prestigious wards.

Judge’s comments:
An absolutely stunning and breath taking piece of work, original in its thinking and striking in its execution, a truly contemporary take on culture. This project has depth and layers of thinking with an authentic connection to traditional storytelling and combine that with a fresh and beautifully crafted visual execution, Ōtairongo moves a visual language forward in leaps and bounds.

Team Members

Maree Sheehan, Viv Teo, Emiko Sheehan, Rosabel Tan, Nigel Borell, Toaki Okano, Rob Lewis, Dexter Edwards, Jamie Bichan


Dr. Te Rita Bernadette Papesch, Moana Maniapoto, Ramon Te Wake, Tui Matira-Ransfield, Jane Hakaraia, Hemi Kelly, Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland Arts Festival


Ōtairongo Exhibition


Image: Tyrone Ohia



Using only sonic elements as her palette, each portrait captures the wairua and mauri of three mana wāhine Māori – Moana Maniapoto, Te Rita Papesch and Ramon Te Wake.

This immersive installation is a world first. Elevating your aural senses, you are invited to put on a pair of headphones and be submerged into an ethereal plane where kōrero, waiata, the marae, whanau, and whenua converge to create a captivating 360° experience.

Ōtairongo opens on Friday 6 March and continues until Sat 16 May 2020



Special thanks to the support of Artspace Aotearoa, Creative New Zealand, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland University of Technology and Sennheiser.



Maree_outside_MG_5140 2

Maree Sheehan
Iwi tribal affliations: (Ngāti Maniapoto-Waikato, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, Ngāti Tahu- Ngāti Whaoa)

I have been writing and composing music and songs for over twenty years. My career as an artist started in the 1990s having had several commercial singles and albums released. Within this time, I was nominated at the New Zealand Music awards for most promising vocalist and best Māori waiata (song). I was also awarded the ‘Whangai’ award for contribution to rangatahi (youth) in music, having mentored Nesian Mystik. My songs have appeared in films such as ‘Once were warriors’ and ‘Broken English’. I also love to write for film, television and other artistic projects.

I currently completed the compostion and sound design for Ōkareka dance company and Exhale dance tribe for the Hokioi me te Vwōhali – Where Eagle spirits land, which will premiere at the Wellington International arts festival 2020.

Ōkareka dance company: http://okareka.com/

Aside from this particular work I am collaborating as sound designer with Tatiana Tavares a Brazilian artist on her PhD project and previously worked in sound design with Master’s student Robert Pouwhare.
He iti te manu he nui te kōrero – The bird is small – the story is epic
My focus and passion lies in sound design and music for various media, writing and producing with others and for other artists. Recently, I have collaborated with NIWA, Temp, AUT and F4 on the Ō Tu Kapua project as sound designer and in the Taipei artist in residence project in 2017. I am currently working on sound design with F4 artist collective for the 2019 International photographic exhibition in association with PAH Homestead, The Wallace Trust and the Auckland Museum.

F4 Art Collective: https://jowseywilliams.co.nz/

I recently completed my PhD at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand 2020. My research looks at ‘The sound of identity: Interpreting the multi-dimensionality of wāhine Māori through audio portraiture. I have been lecturing at AUT for several years in applied media, music and sound design.

Auckland University of Technology: https://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/maree-sheehan

Recently, I have been co-writing and producing with a variety of other women singer/ songwriters such as Raźe, Ella Longname as well as Seth Haapu and Valance Smith. Also, I have been invited by Jason Blume to participate at the Kauaii music festival and the Nashville Songposium in the last few years, which has produced other collaborations. This year in 2018, I am working on writing and collaborating with other singers and songwriters with the intention of recording and pitching to domestic and international publishers.

Maree Sheehan: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/maree-sheehan/179335092


The Passing

Tudor Collins

The Passing

F4 Collective (The artists) + Maree Sheehan (Composer) + Tudor Collins (1898–1970), photographer + Shaun Higgins (Curator of Pictorial at the Auckland War Memorial Museum)

Wallace Art Collection, Pah Homestead, Auckland


21 May – 23 June, 2019

Auckland Festival of Photography

Pictorial curator Shaun Higgins, sound artist Maree Sheehan and F4 Art Collective have collaborated to re-interpret the work of Northland photographer Tudor Collins (b.1898, Northland, d.1970, Auckland) to create this installation.

Intended to function together toward the production of meaning or interpretation, their work occupies two rooms: the video and soundscape in one room; an assembly of collages, a large scale print from a Collins image, an original Collins self-portrait and the story of his archive in another room. These are not individual art works – they are parts of the whole.

Self-taught photographer and Northland farmer and bushman, Collins was also a freelance photographer, commissioned by the Weekly News to cover events such as the Napier earthquake in 1931 to the 1953 royal visit in Fiji. From 1924, he and his wife Annie ran a business in Warkworth which included wedding and local event photography, selling electrical supplies and even running a petrol station. In addition to paid jobs, Collins photographed the things that interested him.

The extraordinary story of the recent rediscovery and rescue, and subsequent digitised archive of the large body of work (over 50,000 negatives) is told.


Taipei Artists Village


F4 & Maree Sheehan Matariki; a song cycle in seven parts

Taipei artist village:http://www.artistvillage.org/index.php

F4 & Maree Sheehan-Matariki; a song cycle in seven parts.

“We look up at the stars as they look down upon us”. F4, 2017
This work imagines a conversation between a family of stars, known as Matariki in New Zealand. Called The Hairy Head of the White Tiger Facing West or Mao in Taiwan, it is viewed as one of the 28 Ancient Palaces or Mansions of the Moon. In Greek mythology the family is known as Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas. Astronomically this family has the designation Messier 45 or M45 and forms part of the Taurus constellation.
A version of how Matariki came to be, describes a family of fish, the children of which swim off to the reef and despite their mothers warnings about the fisherman’s nets, they venture too close and become ensnared. When the mother tries to rescue her children she too is trapped. The god of the forest hears their cries and takes pity on them; freeing them he casts them into the heavens to care for his father, the god of the skies.
In Chinese astrology, the symbolism of these stars is described in terms of the results of misjudged actions heralding unhappiness, when little children will be as close to the grave as old men with long white beards.