Features

Leading Lights

The brand new After Dark Urban Light Festival will illuminate the Tauranga city centre for 10 days during May. Bring the whānau along to experience imaginative glowing artworks from a range of artists.

The brand new After Dark Urban Light Festival will illuminate the Tauranga city centre for 10 days during May. Bring the whānau along
to experience imaginative glowing artworks from a range of artists.

Walk around Tauranga’s city centre by day this May and you might not notice much of a change. Explore the city after sunset, however, and you’ll see it in a new light as it morphs into a tapestry of creativity and innovation. The new After Dark Urban Light Festival will see empty buildings, dreary walls and dark alleyways play host to some of Aotearoa’s best displays of light art, projection mapping and installations.

The festival will take place in the CBD across 10 days, from Friday 13 May until Sunday 22 May, turning on an event to fire the imagination. Project Manager Luke Schroder of Knock Knock Events, which is producing the festival, is enjoying playing his part in bringing After Dark to life after
a reduced event season. “After a dark few months full of event uncertainty and cancellations, it’s
so exciting to be able to bring such a fun festival experience to Tauranga to help us all lighten up!”

A self-guided experience, After Dark acts as both a glowing wonderland for the public to enjoy,
and a creative laboratory in which a diverse range of visual artists and creative technicians can
push the bounds of public art and innovation. You’ll be able to explore the art trail’s range of colourful, abstract and sometimes interactive works that come alive every night from sunset.

Kereama Taepa (Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa), a multidisciplinary artist, is one of the talented locals whose works will be on display during the festival. His piece titled Ka Mua Ka Muri, a well-known whakataukī meaning ‘to walk backwards into the future’, draws on customary Māori art forms presented with
a modern-day aesthetic inspired by NFT designs.

Kereama Taepa’s work Ka Mua Ka Muri will be projected onto a wall in Tauranga CBD during the festival.

Kereama has exhibited works across Aotearoa and abroad, and is looking forward to being involved in a project in his own backyard. “After Dark is such a great opportunity for local artists to get their work out there and show their own community their work. It’s not often that an exciting opportunity of this scale and magnitude comes along, and I can’t wait for the people of Tauranga to see the creative geniuses they have in their midst.”

After Dark Urban Light Festival aims to revitalise commercial spaces, civic venues and public areas around Tauranga’s CBD — you’ll see mundane sites and structures transform into inspiring illuminated artworks that are bound to entertain and transfix your whole whānau.

afterdarkfestival.com  @afterdarkfestivalnz After Dark is spearheaded by Creative Bay of Plenty, and is possible thanks to support from Creative New Zealand and Trustpower, and partners Downtown Tauranga, Tauranga City Council, Priority One, Veros, Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust and Toi Ohomai.