Creation: from Chaos to Order


Neale Blaymires

Tuti Tukaokao



  • Window(s)


  • Glass
  • Crystal
  • Lead

Neale Blaymires and Tuti Tukaokao, ‘Creation: From Chaos to Order’ (1989), Civic Arcade, Tauranga

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022


Incorporates windows from Tauranga Town Hall 1916-1987.

"In the 1980s, Tauranga’s city centre was home to a number of artist studios, including artist collective Viewpoint Studio on Elizabeth Street (where Event Cinemas is now). Established by Steve Van Ronk and Marilyn Rea Menzies, the collective created stained glass, tapestry, furniture, and paintings.

When architect Ian Carter looked for art to be part of the construction of the new Tauranga City Council and Tauranga Library civic precinct, he selected two Viewpoint Studio designs - by artist Neale Blaymires.

Blaymires and fellow artist Paula Dennison, with help from other Viewpoint members, constructed the two designs. The first, 'Creation: From Chaos to Order' is above the Willow Street entrance. This large work depicts the ‘big bang’ with a crystal studded nucleus exploding yellow and red glass across a blue sky. The Māori design element, contained within a single streak of clear glass, was contributed by renowned master carver, Tuti Tukaokao (1929-2001). At the centre of the work are two of seven leadlight windows crafted in 1915 for the original Tauranga Town Hall, which previously stood on the site. Edwardian in design, four damaged windows were combined to create these two restored windows with garlands of red roses and ‘heavenly trumpet’ flowers.

The second window, aptly titled 'Creation of Language', can be seen above the entrance to the library...

Both windows were installed in 1989 as part of the opening of the Civic Arcade."

In 2022 the works were removed and put in storage due to their original site being demolished to make way for a new civic centre. Since then they have been installed at the temporary library, He Puna Manawa, on Devonport Road. As at June 2023 their future destination has not been decided, however the council is committed to them remaining on public display.

See also:

Pae Korokī (Tauranga Library Archive) collection images of the windows as the library was under construction c.1988.