Nigel John Floyd Borell MNZM (born 1973) is a New Zealand Māori artist, museum curator, and Māori art advocate. He curated the exhibition Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2020, the largest exhibition since they opened. In 2021 the Art Foundation of New Zealand created an award (He Momo – A Moment in Time Award) to acknowledge the work of Borrell in this exhibition.[1]

Nigel Borell
Borell in 2022
Nigel John Floyd Borell

1973 (age 50–51)
Academic background
Alma materMassey University - BMVA
Elam School of Fine Arts - MFA
Academic work
DisciplineContemporary Māori Art
InstitutionsAuckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Biography edit

Borell was born in 1973 and grew up in Ōtāhuhu and Manurewa in South Auckland. He is a twin and has two older siblings. Borell is Māori of Pirirākau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, and Te Whakatōhea descent.[2][3][4]

His early influences included the Peter Gossage series of Māui illustrated books. He completed a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University in Palmerston North in 2000. There he studied under Robert Jahnke and the Toioho ki Apiti programme. He followed this by completing a Master of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2003.[3][5] He has hands-on experience in Māori arts, working on three meeting house projects under tohunga whakaio Pakariki (Paki) Harrison 1995-2000 and kowhaiwhai artist Peter Boyd, and has been influenced by Māori curators Megan Tamati-Quennell and Ngahiraka Mason.[6][5]

Borell was Associate Curator Māori Art at Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira from 2013 and Curator Māori Art at Auckland Art Gallery since 2015. At the gallery he worked for years on the largest exhibition since the gallery opened over 130 years ago called Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art. It featured work by 110 artists and brought in more visitors than any other exhibition since 1989.[7] The documentary of the exhibition is by Chelsea Winstanley.[8] Borell resigned from his role at the art gallery in January 2021 soon after Toi Tū Toi Ora opened stating the there was a lack of control awarded to him in the lead up and calling for 'colonial institutions to share power more equally'.[6][1]

In 2022 it was announced he would return to Auckland War Memorial Museum as Curator Taonga Māori, the role previously held by Chanel Clarke.[6] Borell is a trustee and curator of The Wairau Māori Art Gallery in the Hundertwasser Building in Whangarei, the first public Māori art gallery solely dedicated to profiling Māori artists and curators.[2][9][1]

Art edit

Borell’s meetinghouse projects include: The kowhaiwhai and mural work for "Te Pou Herenga Waka' meetinghouse, James Cook High School Marae, Manurewa (1993-94) The kowhaiwhai and mural work for "Matukurua" meetinghouse Manurewa Marae, Manurewa (1994-95) The papaka kowhaiwhai panels for "Rakairoa" meetinghouse Harataunga Marae, Kennedy Bay, Coromandel (1995-96) The kowhaiwhai rafter panels for "Kete Uruuru Matua" meetinghouse Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae, (1999-2000) Manukau Institute of Technology, Ōtara.[3] The kowhaiwhai rafter panels for "Te Puna Matauranga" meetinghouse Northtec Marae, Whangarei (2015) The kowhaiwhai panels - assisting Saffronn Te Ratana for "Te Whaioranga o Te Whaiao" meetinghouse Te Rau Karamu Marae, Massey University Wellington (2016-2018)

Selected publications edit

  • Te Atinga: 25 years of Contemporary Māori Art. Wellington, New Zealand: Toi Maori Aotearoa, 2013. ISBN 9780958234146

Awards and honours edit

Exhibitions edit

  • Pirirakau: Bush Beautiful, The Lane Gallery, Auckland 2006
  • Kura: Story of a Māori Woman Artist, The Mangere Arts Centre - Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Auckland 2010
  • The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki/Young Fine Arts Museum, Auckland/San Francisco 2017
  • Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland 2020[11]
  • Puke Ariki, Wairau Māori Art Gallery, Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangārei, 2022
  • Indigenous Histories: Rupturing Representation, The Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brasil and Kode Bergen Art Museum, Norway (2023-2024)
  • Lisa Reihana: He Wai Ngunguru, Nomads of the Sea, Wairau Māori Art Gallery, Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangārei, 2023

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Lock, Stock & Borell". The Big Idea. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Mane, Marena (3 January 2022). "Nigel Borell - newly appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit". Te Ao Māori News. Māori Television. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Husband, Dale (27 June 2021). "Nigel Borell: Sovereignty is still the name of the game". E-Tangata. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b McConnell, Glenn (7 August 2021). "Critical curator Nigel Borell recognised for changing NZ's art scene with passion for toi Māori". Stuff. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b Eshrangi, Leuli; Ash-Milby, Kathleen; Nuku, Maia; Borell, Nigel (2020). "Knowledge Positions in Aotearoa and Turtle Island Art Museums". Artlink. 40 (2): 12–23.
  6. ^ a b c d "Māori art vision informs nationhood". Waatea News. 31 December 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  7. ^ Triponel, Te Rina. "Contemporary Māori art show holds record for largest art exhibition since 1989". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Toi Tū Toi Ora documentary feature film preview by Chelsea Winstanley". Auckland Art Gallery. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  9. ^ Standing Room Only (24 October 2021). "Nigel Borell - the role of a curator in 2021". RNZ. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  10. ^ "BORELL, Mr Nigel John Floyd". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Cultured Conversations with Nigel Borell". Auckland Art Gallery. September 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2022.