Te Taiao Nature Exhibition


  • Museum: Te Papa
  • Exhibition title: Te Taiao | Nature
  • Exhibition Designers: Clayton McGregor & Rosanne Kwan

Human Dynamo was a lead contributor of scientifically accurate endemic flora and fauna models for Te Papa – Te Taiao | Nature exhibition 2019. Human Dynamo liaised with scientific experts to ensure every detail was accurately captured in the finished models.

Utilising the latest in-house technology and craftsmanship including digital sculpting, 3D printing, biological specimen moulding and paint finishing, HD's team fabricated over 40 specimen models.

Sacha Lees and Tony Drawbridge's process is captured during the finishing stages of a large scale Mayfly lava model - one of over forty specimen models created by 'Human Dynamo Workshop' for Te Papa – Te Taiao | Nature exhibition 2019.

"I found the team at Human Dynamo to be exceptional in their focus, commitment, and production quality; taking a mix of photographs, photocopies and preserved specimens to create fish models that looked as if all they needed was water. Some of the older models that were re-painted and re-worked I had thought were beyond salvage, but the end result was spectacular. Problems were overcome with innovation and talent. It has been a pleasure to work with such gifted and passionate people."

- Andrew Stewart.  Assistant Curator NE (Fishes)


  • Birds Experts: Alan Tennyson & Colin Miskelly.

Model of an unripe apricot held by a taxidermied Rosella bird.

Model of a Tui's egg being eating by a taxidermied Possum.

Taxidermy model of the Hawkin's rail (Diaphorapteryx hawkinsi)

Digital model of the supersized kiwi beak cut away model.

Final supersized kiwi beak cut away model.

Visitors touch the bronze Kiwi bird feet

Model of a Moa pelvis bone and Haast eagle's claw cast in bronze.


Marine Invertebrates

  • Marine Invertebrate Expert: Rick Webber.

Freshwater Koura specimen model with paint finishing.

Completed Specimen model of a Alope shrimp next to reference material.

Half Crab specimen model with paint finishing.

Painted Policeman Crab specimen model

Anemone digital specimen model.

Apricot Anemone model in the finishing stages along side reference material.

Lamprey digital specimen model.

Close up mouth detail of the finished female Lamprey model.

Strawberry sea cucumber digital specimen model.

Strawberry sea cucumber specimen models showing the three stages.



  • Fish Expert: Andrew Stewart.

Completed Blue Moki specimen model.

Model of a deep sea Redvelvet Whalefish.

Completed model of a Banded Kokopu.

Carpet Shark specimen model.

Garry Buckley detailing a Skate sculpture.

Finished Skate specimen model

Finished Seahorse specimen model.



  • Insect Experts: Phil Sirvid & Julia Kasper.

Earthworm (Octochaetus multiporus) Specimen model

Katipo Spider specimen model 

Semi Slug (Schizoglossa novoseelandica)

Katipo Spider specimen model 

Completed model of a Flatworm (Australopacifica Maori).


Plants & Fungi

  • Plant Experts: Lara Shepard & Leon Perrie

Encapsulated Pimelea gnidia plant specimen

Encapsulated Ribbonwood plant specimen

Encapsulated Hinau plant specimen

Digital model of the Blue mushroom fungi.

Model of the Blue mushroom fungi.

Basket Fungi digital model

Basket Fungi (Ileodictyon cibarium) Specimen model



Deep sea fish masks interactive exhibit


Lead Contributors: Art Direction/ client relations: Tony Drawbridge, Dominic Taylor | Paint Lead: Sacha Lees | Paint: Garry Buckley,  3D Print & digital modeling: Adelle Kristensen, Elliot Gonzales