Michel Tuffery - Nga Kete


About the Artist

"Michel Tuffery is a New Zealand-based artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Ma’ohi Tahitian heritage. Within his art practice he plays the role of working “in between” people and places, and focusing a fresh lens on environmental, community, cultural and art historical divides." - Michel Tuffery

Facebook www.facebook.com/micheltuffery
Insta micheltuffery_
Twitter @MichelTuffery 


Nga Kete

About the Work

Nga Kete is a sandcast bronze sculpture. Standing 2.5m-high, the sculpture is located in front of the courtyard outside the Mason Centre on Forth St, Dunedin.

"Tuffery likens Nga Kete to an archaeological midden, “a natural layering of metaphors weaving the kaupapa of the traditional, environmental and cultural with community and history”. Nga Kete is laden with narrative and Tuffery hopes the sculpture will serve as a reminder to those who enter Otago Polytechnic that the institution will feed the “mind and spirit of each, ensuring all shall leave having filled their kete with the knowledge required to carry oneself forward”.

Design elements will see Nga Kete function as a sundial at the entrance to the Otago Polytechnic’s Hub. At night, ambient up-lighting will enhance the sculpture’s woven textures, based on the historical buried cable used to pull the 1886 Armstrong Disappearing Gun at Taiaroa Head, and Pātiki (flounder) and Tukutuku patterns directly linked to Ōtākou Marae." - Otago Polytechnic

Nga Kete – at the opening ceremony in front of the courtyard outside the Mason Centre on Forth St, Dunedin.


About the Process

Human Dynamo is proud to have assisted Michel Tuffery in bringing Nga Kete to the public. 

The sculpture was brought to life through a combination of digital modeling, CNC, plaster casting, hand finishing and sand casting in bronze.

Plaster sand casting pattern


Michel Tuffery at the opening ceremony

Detail shot of the finished bronze casting