Art n Tartan 2016: A winning show

Congratulations Richard Wilson!!art n tartan winner 2016

Winner of the Art n Tartan 2016 Supreme award with his ‘Tartan Flying Machine’.

I attended my first Art n Tartan with my daughter on Saturday and it was fantastic.  I know a number of people who attended one of the 3 performances and the feedback has been unanimous that it was a thoroughly enjoyable, professionally produced event that is a credit to all the people involved in bringing it to life.


Photos courtesy of Waipu Museum / Peter Grant

The show exceeded my expectations in many ways and gave me a real appreciation of the hard work and time that each contestant puts in to creating their wearable art entries.  With 52 entries from Kaitaia to Christchurch to Otago, the standard was high and the performances built around the entries did not disappoint.

The inspirational creativity

If you have an ounce of creativity you can’t help but be inspired by the wearable art on show.  Some of the works take on a whole new meaning once you find out the materials and the methods used to create them.  Think dried sheep innards, barbed wire, recycled plastic bottles, real birds nests, bicycle inner tubes, air conditioning ducts, old vinyl records and barbie dolls.

The music


The show opened with Tiki Taane’s Tangaroa and had many toe tapping, hand clapping moments including Amazing Grace with bagpipes and a reggae beat.  The Hatea Kapa Haka group sang a unique Te Reo arrangement of God Defend New Zealand.  The show was not without plenty of stirring Celtic sounds, culminating in the finale which involved a successful collaboration of all the performers including  the Twisty Willow Celtic Band, Emma Couper and the Hatea Kapa Haka group.

Mixing culture and art

Tartan is uniquely Scottish for sure but Waipu has a art-n-tartan-2016history before the Nova Scotian’s arrived and the performances constantly reminded the audience of the coming together of European and Maori cultures, this was demonstrated in the dance choreography and the choice of music and also many of the wearable art entries.

The community collaboration

So many Waipu and Bream Bay groups were involved in this show it truly felt like a community created event.  Pulse dance group, Circool Circus, North Quarter Acapella singers to name a few.  Many local children performed and entered masks.  Of course many local Bream Bay businesses also get behind the event each year.  The volunteers who bring it all together really should feel proud.  Talk about a small town punching above it’s weight in the creativity department.

 Many reasons to enterrichard_wilson_tartan_flying_machine

There can be only one supreme winner and this year it was Richard Wilson with his Tartan Flying Machine.  Richard was presented with the Alison Turner Trophy, a trophy made by Alison and Huw Turner’s son in memory of his mother who passed away in 2010.

All in all there are 18 awards up for grabs.

So get your thinking caps on for next year.  You may walk away with a prize.

The Waipu Museum facebook page has a list of winners and also lots of photos of the outstanding entries and the award show.

For more information about the event contact the Waipu Museum


  1. Huw Turner on July 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Good review. It would be good to have acknowledgement that the Supreme Winner is awarded the Alison Turner Trophy, a trophy made by my son in memory of his mother and my wife who passed away in 2010. Many thanks

    • Jeannie McKee on July 26, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Hi Huw
      Thank you for your feedback. I have updated the post to acknowledge that Richard received the Alison Turner Trophy.
      Kind regards

Leave a Comment