The Thrum of the Tide

The Thrum of the Tide is a project by artists Jenny Gillam and Eugene Hansen that delves into the 20th century story of Te Ana Ru cave, known as ‘the ballroom cave’. It has been said that early settlers held Saturday night dances in the cave until the 1920s, on a re-purposed, winchable kauri floor installed by local timber mill workers. The dances are a well-known folklore in Huia and Whatipū and it is thought the floor is still in the cave, buried deep under the sand.

Presented in the gallery will be a re-creation of the floor accompanied by a soundscape of subterranean seismic vibrations and taonga puoro captured in Te Ana Ru in 2019 while undertaking Auckland Council's Auckland Regional Parks Artist Residency.

This exhibition is presented in association with the 2021 Auckland Arts Festival. The Festival have organised two events on the Saturday 13 March evening, with contemporary dance stalwarts Michael Parmenter and Claire O’Neil, and local story tellers to be announced soon. Parmenter and O’Neil will perform four of the most popular partner dances of the 19th century on the dancefloor itself, while storytellers bring the West Coast’s rich history to life.

Image: Jenny Gillam

Sat 20 Feb — Sun 23 May

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