Inside Arcadia

Malcolm Doidge

(Pōneke / Wellington)

Inside Arcadia is an immersive, virtual reality experience of Mātiu/Somes island’s heritage human and animal quarantine sites. Since the return of Mātiu (Te Hokitanga Mai ā Mātiu) in 2009, Te Āti Awa have been Kaitiaki or guardians of this place in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and the islands 700 year old history of human occupation and its animals and plants.


There are four interactive VR scenes to explore a 'quarantine gothic' reflecting the impact of a colonial past of quarantine on the island. These digital scenographies look to the future where Mātiu/Somes island’s quarantine heritage urges us to take better care of our local ecologies.

10am - 10pm, 17-20 & 24-27 Feb | Te Whanganui-a-Tara (behind Te Papa) | FREE
Video Trailer


Creative Team


Malcolm Doidge is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in sculpture. An earlier project in 2018, for Performance Arcade, was a multimedia performance on Mātiu/Somes Island for the 'Performing, Writing' symposium. That experience led to a four year, Postgraduate research project developing four digital scenography projects which became Inside Arcadia. Malcolm has exhibited widely and recently co-authored a chapter in 2021 titled New Faith in Fakes for Urban Corporis X Unexpected - Special issue.


The artist acknowledges the ownership and mana whenua of Mātiu/Somes Island by Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui. Inside Arcadia voice work by Vanessa Stacey. Hone Tuwhare Papatūānuku kind permission of Rob Tuwhare and whānau.