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MOTAT Night Lights Q+A - Stargazing

By Makayla Wallace-Tidd, Communications Coordinator, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). The ‘Stargazing’ installation is the first collaboration between Plinth Floral design studio and Replum Visualisation studio. MOTAT chatted with artists Tanya and Angelo to learn more about their careers and what inspired their installation for Night Lights.

What is your medium and style of art?

Tanya - I like creating organic shapes and forms and exploring different mediums and techniques. The most recent medium I’ve been interested in is flowers, they can be used in so many different ways, fresh, dried, or you can just use parts of them like petals or leaves.  

Angelo - CGI ranging from Photorealistic to Experimental.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Tanya - I have always liked art since I can remember, when I was a kid I liked to draw and paint a lot. When I was a bit older I liked to sketch and design different things especially clothes and houses and that led me to study architecture.

Angelo - Around three or four, the age when school starts. No single defining moment in particular, but the inherent enjoyment of creating art.  

Who has inspired you and your art?

Tanya - I believe my parents inspired me to do art, I remember my mum used to be into photography and my dad always designed and learned to make a lot of things himself. Especially his current pet accessories business, which I have seen from the start when he designed and made the pet clothes and bed himself.

Angelo - A major source of inspiration has come from radical
architects such as Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Bernard Tschumi. As well
as the major animation studios including Pixar and DreamWorks.

Where did you grow up and where are you now?

Tanya - I was born and grew up in Thailand, and moved here about 12 years ago, now I’m still here in Auckland.

Angelo - Born and raised in West Auckland.

What do you get up to on the day-to-day?

Tanya - Everyday is different for me, I may be arranging flowers, I may be doing some 3D modelling, drafting or learning some new skills. Some days I do both at different times of the day.

Angelo - Creating architecture visualisation and many coffee breaks! 

Tell us a bit about the work you'll have on display at Night Lights.

Tanya - For the ‘Stargazing’ installation, I decided to use soft and delicate dried flowers to create forms that represent the Matariki star cluster. With projected animation over the flowers, this gives a feeling as if you’re in the night sky and surrounded by stars.

Angelo - The installation is the first collaboration between Plinth Floral design studio and Replum Visualisation studio. Flowers suspended over the visitors will be illuminated by a projection inspired by the story of Ranginui, Papatuanuku, and their children.

What motivated you to make this piece/work?

Tanya - The inspiration of this piece comes from the storytelling of the Matariki stars cluster, and my interest in experimenting with dried flowers.

Angelo - Didn’t want to miss the chance to experiment at a large-scale, with different animation styles and an irregular projection surface.

Quick Fire:

Favourite condiment?

Tanya - Chilli Flakes

Angelo - Fish sauce

Pie or sausage roll?

Tanya - Pie

Angelo - Pie



Aotearoa town you love the most?

Tanya - Russell

Angelo - Whangaparāoa


Favourite word?

Tanya - Thank you

Angelo - Coffee



First job?

Tanya - Kitchenhand

Angelo - Meat factory worker

Come see Universal Language this Friday 25 - Sunday 27 June at MOTAT's Night Lights. More info on the event here: https://www.motat.nz/events/night-lights-2021