Wellington City Council
Ahi Kā – Keep the Home Fires Burning was a luminous audiovisual display projected across the front of The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for Wellington City Council’s third annual Matariki Ki Pōneke festival in July 2020. Produced by Storybox, it was created in partnership with the Council’s mana whenua partners, alongside Te Papa and Streamliner Productions.
Storybox creative director Rob Appierdo collaborated with storyteller Toa Waaka (Ngāti Toa) to conceive an idea that would capture the spirit of Matariki. Ahi Kā tells the inspiring tale of Toa Rangatira and his famed kūmara gardens, which helped sustain his people of Ngāti Toa and the surrounding tribes throughout the 17th century.
'Toa Rangatira could tell from the stars that a long cold winter was coming, so while his brothers and relatives headed off to the battlefields, the young chief chose to stay home and care for his elders and whānau while the other warriors were away.’
To achieve our celestial vision, live performers were filmed on a green screen and interpolated into a series of complex animations. For two weeks the collosal display was proudly projected across the six stories of Te Papa Tongarewa, acting as a focal point of the Council’s Matariki celebrations.