Auckland Zoo


An immersive experience celebrating the stories and traditions of Māori new year.

Visitors raising arms and seeing their forms depicted in the starscape
  • Culturally Significant
  • Participatory Engagement
  • A Unique Celebration
  • Light and Motion

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars visible in the night sky around June and July. Traditionally the appearance has signalled a time to gather with family and friends, reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future.

Working with the Auckland Zoo, we created a mesmerising digital art installation that allowed the audience to interact with the stars. Motion in front of a massive 18x4 metre screen was reflected in generated constellations, transporting our viewers up among the celestial bodies.

To create a sense of action and effect, co-ordinated movement by multiple participants activated the key stars of Matariki. When all nine were glowing brightly, the sky was suddenly punctuated by blazing comets. As part of three sold-out zoo-wide events, a largely young audience discovered a unique moment of connection with the stars that have guided Māori customs for hundreds of years.


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