28 Apr 2024

Taupō: a secretly prolific arts hub with Jeffrey Addison

From Culture 101, 1:25 pm on 28 April 2024
Octo Puss - Swiftmantis

Octo Puss - Swiftmantis Photo: Supplied

Each week, Culture 101 puts the spotlight on a different region in Aotearoa and this week it’s Taupō with artist, musician, composer, puppeteer and stone carver, Jeffrey Addison. 

Although known predominantly for its adventure tourism and fishing, you only have to take a closer look to realise Taupō is a hub of visual arts. 

Katikati may have the honour of being known as ‘mural town’ but with 85 murals in the back alleys and side streets of Taupō, the town more than gives it a run for its money. 

Addison has made it his mission to document Taupo’s urban artworks and forgotten rock carvings. He’s tallied 244 public art works around the central business district including sculptures, murals and Maori rock carvings. 

Addison (Kāi Tahu and Te Ātiawa) and his wife, also a multimedia artist, returned to her hometown in 1999 to raise their family. While Addison is not tribally from the region, his wife and children are (Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa) and he feels a deep sense of connection to their history. Addison is determined to protect the region’s oldest artforms - rock art carvings created hundreds of years ago.

Jeffery Addison spoke to Culture 101