TE AO - Paris, Saint Roch Church / by JoFF Rae

PRESS RELEASE:  Amazing Maori Art Exhibition in Paris on NOW.

Right now on show in Paris is a very beautiful Maori Exhibition titled TE AO, Maori for “The Light”.  Not in a gallery but in one of the oldest and most famous churches in Paris, Saint Roch Church situated right next door to the Louvre.  This is in the famous first arrondissement and is a very chic address for Art. 

Tracey Tawhiao and George Nuku have installed a collection of works in the Chapel attached to this Church.  Jesus Christ is on the cross in the Chapel and through enormous consertina wooden doors he can be seen in the Church.  What can’t be seen from the church is what lies around Jesus Christ’s feet.  An entire universe of light and love created in modern materials but still distinctly Maori awaits you.

The Artists explain:


“The Catholic Church does not really include the Natural world apart from Light.  So we focused on Light.  It is very big in Maori cosmology.  Our work was called pagan by one Priest and we had to refute that on the premise that Jesus died for the Pagan’s too.  Our focus is on Light and Love the two best things about any religion.”

Tracey Tawhiao


“I wanted to create something that made sense in a church.  We couldn’t attach any thing to the walls, so it immediately became interesting figuring out how to use the space.  Basically, it’s held together by string and a prayer.  It could all come crashing down but that’s really the beauty of it for me.  I don’t like sure things they seem ultimately boring.  The cube is something I am happy to have out of me and in the Chapel with Jesus, Mary and God.   I can let them imbue it with meaning. For me it’s an accumulation of the best of life contained in a very precise space projecting in a very sacred and geometric way to the world.”

George Nuku


Tracey and George have been exhibiting together and separately for almost 20 years.  They have shown around the world and throughout their own country.  Both Artists are dedicated to sharing their vision of the world through their Maori Ancestry and believe that nothing has gone or died but is stilling living in them. 

This Show has a Grand Finale Evening in the last week of September and the Artists have some surprise guests in store for us who are also Maori Artists from NZ and it promises to be an enchanting and thought provoking evening.

If you still have not seen this Show the Chapel re-opens 1st September and closes finally on the 28th September.  


All Images are owned by Tracey Tawhiao & George Nuku © 2012


For viewing times please contact:

Morteza  00 33 (0)6 76 29 53 36.

Galerie Yapa 18 Rue St Roch, Paris, France.