MOTAT is proud to be partnering with Richie Mills for Matariki Festival 2022. Richie’s astrophotography will be projected onto our Historical Pumphouse for three evenings from Friday 24-Sunday 26 June. Come for a walk and view it from the footpath between 6 pm-midnight each day!
Matariki is a star cluster that appears in June each year and signals the start of the Māori New Year. The cluster is different from a constellation as it involves hundreds of stars rather than a few far apart. There are 6-7 stars in Matariki that are visible from Earth using just your eyes, but with a telescope, you can see why it’s called a cluster! Approximately 500 stars make up the Matariki cluster.
You can view Matariki yourself too! Learn how here.
Richie’s projections displayed for the Matariki Festival will include the stars above Aotearoa and Te Ao Marama (Earth’s Moon) and share his view of Māori astronomy. Let’s get to know more about Richie and his mahi.
How would you describe your art?
My art is astrophotography through a Māori lens.
What does Matariki mean to you?
Matariki is a time to reflect on the year gone. Say goodbye to the people we have lost, relax with family, and of course, take photos and observe Matariki.
Who inspires your photography?
I am inspired by all the great astrophotographers around the world and here in Aotearoa. Larryn Rae, Paul Wilson, and Trevor Jones to name a few.
When did you start shooting astrophotography?
I first tried it in 2017 but didn’t fall in love with it until May 2019.
Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
I spent the first 4 years of my life in the late 1970s in North Canterbury, then Christchurch until 2007, and then I moved to Auckland for 10 years. In 2017 I moved back to North Canterbury.
How do you feel about having your work projected onto our pumphouse?
I love that my images are going to be on the pumphouse!! I am very passionate about Māori astronomy and want to share it with the world.
The project was a beautiful addition to the Te Wai Ōrea, Western Springs precinct.
Story by Makayla Wallace-Tidd, Communications Coordinator, MOTAT
Wallace-Tidd, Makayla, 2022. Matariki Quickfire Q+A with Richie Mills. MOTAT Museum of Transport and Technology. Published: 22 June 2022. URL: https://www.motat.nz/collections-and-stories/matariki-with-richie-mills