Divine Estate

Oli Mathiesen

(Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland)

Creative Team: Oli Mathiesen, Kit Reilly, Celia Hext, Luke Romero, Lulu Qiu, Samara Reweti, Sefa Tunupopo, Ross McCormack, Issac Hansen

Peer into the condensed world of Divine Estate to watch our bodies fold and collapse under the one metre high low hanging ceiling. Inspired by the underneath crawl space of a theatre stage, choreographer and designer Oli Mathiesen creates a plywood underworld while sweat drips through the floorboards onto the retired performers.


Witness what happens beneath the virtuosic proscenium arch performances we usually applaud. The open ended container exposes a thin rectangular window to enjoy the play of trap doors, surprise tap dancing performances, and sculptural bodies. 

The low level staging encourages audiences to bend, sit, or lie down to peer through the thin slice of the world. Binarily Divine Estate explores an urban retelling of Rangi and Papatūānuku, a popular pūrākau in art making. The work investigates the liminal space between Rangi and Papa drawing connection between the suffocating performance space and the confinements of post colonial and western structures emerging in Oli’s practice. 

Enjoy the intrigue, labour, and golden light of Divine Estate.

10am - 10pm, 24-27 Feb | Te Whanganui-a-Tara (behind Te Papa) | FREE


Creator Bio


Oli Mathiesen is a queer Māori choreographer and dancer based in Tāmaki Makaurau (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Manu, Ngāpuhi). He is a graduate of Unitec completing his Bachelors in Performing & Screen Art – Contemporary Dance in 2020. Oli has worked with Atamira Dance Company, Auckland Theatre Company (ATC), Michael Parmenter, Sarah Foster-Sproull, Claire O’Neil, Jessie McCall, Chrissy Kokiri, and Sharvon Mortimer in recent years. Oli works in the interdisciplinary spaces of movement, photo, video, and theatre.


He is an image-based artist, working visually to build immersive worlds and cohesive aesthetics. Striving to utilise innovation through art, he highlights personal issues surrounding his queer, indigenous and political identity through entertaining and highly engaging work. He provides audiences entertainment which is easy to consume commercially but is laced with politically and sociologically posing questions and themes.


Oli has produced works Night and Mortar (2021), Still Solo (2020), and FOSSE (2019).

The artist wishes to thank and acknowledge the support of the Rachel Bennett Arts Foundation. 

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