WOW - World of WearableArt

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WOW Up Close

World of WearableArt – Up Close
12 December 2020 – 14 February 2021

An exhibition at Te Papa


This summer experience World of WearableArt like never before.

World of WearableArt Up Close – A Theatrical Exhibition is a spectacular brand new experience created for all ages that translates the theatricality of the annual WOW Awards Show into an unforgettable immersive experience.  


About World of WearableArt – Up Close 

Journey through modern magical worlds loosely inspired by the beautiful backdrops from Shakespeare’s MacBeth, inhabited by the most incredible collection of wearable art by designers from around the world. 

Explore natural worlds featuring garments inspired by Aotearoa to modern mirror infinity rooms inhabited by garments made of the most unlikely materials including wood, latex, carpet and bicycle tubes. Gain insights into the designers creative process and learn how they craft their unique materials to bring incredible stories to life. 

Escape into World of WearableArt Up Close  – A Theatrical Exhibition where you can experience imagination and creativity at its very best! 

For a strictly limited season only!


Level 4, Te Papa
View map location

For more information on the location and to plan your visit, head to Te Papa’s website



The exhibition will run from Saturday 12 December 2020 – Sunday 14 February 2021

Te Papa is open every day 10.00am—6.00pm


Tickets & Prices

We recommend allowing 60 minutes for your visit to the exhibition.

Ticket Category






Child (under three years)


Family of 4 (2 Adults, 2 Children)


Family of 3 (1 Adult, 2 Children)




For any ticketing or booking inquiries please contact Ticketmaster directly on 0800 111 999

Please Note:

This exhibition will now go ahead whether New Zealand is at Covid-19 Alert Level 2 or Level 1. We are committed to running a safe and enjoyable event for you and your family and have designed the exhibition to allow plenty of room for social distancing between groups. If the Alert Level shifts to 3 or 4, the exhibition will close and tickets will be refunded.


Plan Your Visit

We are excited to bring this specially crafted exhibition to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. We hope that the people of Wellington and visitors from around New Zealand will enjoy this unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the World of WearableArt and get up close to these extraordinary works of art! 

Start planning your trip and make the most of your #wowupclose experience at

WOW Up Close is made possible by Core Partner:








Accessibility (Te Papa):

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Immersive digital and sound experiences
  • Variable lighting levels
  • Accessible toilets
  • No food, drink, or double buggies


Wellington accommodation:

Looking for somewhere to stay in Wellington? Check out what’s on offer from our accommodation partners: InterContinental Wellington and QT Wellington. These two incredible properties are not only conveniently located, allowing you to make the most of your time in Wellington, they also have onsite restaurants and facilities to make your stay one to remember.


InterContinental Wellington

Adjacent to Wellington’s waterfront, InterContinental Wellington is a global five-star hotel located in the heart of Wellington city. It is the seamless and personal service that makes InterContinental Wellington the best luxury in Wellington.

InterContinental Wellington is pleased to offer a special accommodation package for the World of WearableArt – Up Close exhibition at Te Papa.


QT Wellington

Fall down the rabbit hole into an explosion of colour and texture at Wellington’s design-driven Hotel, QT Wellington. The walls host a curated collection of high & low-brow art sitting in a stunning harbourside location & engulfed by vines of vivid ivy. Art, design, curiosities and a dash of the absurd.

QT Wellington is pleased to offer a special accommodation package for the World of WearableArt – Up Close exhibition at Te Papa.




A Look back: Behind the Designs


2021 Calendar


Featuring 96 pages of exclusive insights and stunning imagery of the collection of wearable art garments that will be on display at World of WearableArt – Up Close

Bring colour and creativity to your year with our
limited edition 2021 World of WearableArt UP CLOSE
Calendar. Featuring stunning imagery of a selection of
the garments that will be on display at Te Papa

Additional Events

A series of exciting events hosted by Te Papa are available to purchase as part of your exhibition entry and are a great way to enhance your experience!

Tickets to the additional events can be booked through Ticketmaster.


World of WearableArt – Up Close: Opening Preview Party

Be the first to see our latest exhibition World of WearableArt – Up Close. Get an up-close look of garments, enjoy live music, WOW performative elements including the opportunity to get up close to some WOW garments worn on the moving body, exhibition entry, themed food stations and a drink token which are all included in your ticket. Cash bar available. Limited tickets, so be in quick.

Please note: Due to alcohol being served this is an 18-years + event


When: Friday 11 December, 8.30pm – 11.00pm 

Te Papa High Teas

Prepare for your theatrical journey with a Te Papa High Tea experience. A charming selection of savoury and sweet treats await you in the Te Papa Espresso Café. Ticket includes exhibition entry.


When: Daily between 11.00 – 3.00pm

For the High Tea Packages, High Tea commences an hour before ticketed entry times:

High Tea at 11.00am with a 12.00pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 12.00pm with a 1.00pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 1.00pm with a 2.00pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 2.00pm with a 3.00pm entry exhibition ticket

Where: Te Papa Espresso Cafe, level 4


Te Papa Late Nights

Join us for a Late Night of up-close wearable art, after hours. Ticket price includes entry to the exhibition, live music, one drink on arrival and all night access to our canape food stations.

Please note: Due to alcohol being served this is an 18-years + event



Thursday 14 January, 7.00 – 9.30pm

Thursday 04 February, 7.00 – 9.30pm


WOW Up Close: Meet the Designers

Ever wondered how WOW designers dream up their incredible creations? What inspires them? How did they begin their journeys as artists and designers? How does WOW work with designers from the beginning of the entry process all the way through to bringing their works of wearable art to life on the WOW stage?  Now’s your chance to find out!

There will be a panel discussion followed by a Q&A.

WOW Competition Director, Heather Palmer, will be joined on the panel by four accomplished New Zealand wearable art designers who work in a range of mediums and each have their own fascinating story to tell – Kate MacKenzie, Dylan Mulder, Kayla Christensen and Gillian Saunders.   Join us for an afternoon of inspiration, creativity and conversation. 

Please note: Meet the Designers panel discussion and Q&A is free. Should you wish to see the exhibition WOW Up Close you will need to pay the entry fee.


Sunday 17 January, 1.30 – 3.00pm

Where: Te Marae, Level 4


Te Papa presents: Drag, Dinner and Art – SOLD OUT

A Night to Remember. Enjoy a drink and canapes on arrival, WOW performative elements including the opportunity to get up close to some WOW garments worn on the moving body, exhibition entry to World of WearableArt Up Close, fine dining and entertainment by your favourite Wellington Drag Queens.

We please ask, where possible, to book your tickets for your group in one transaction. We will of course try to be as flexible as possible, but we cannot guarantee merging of tables once tickets are sold. Limited tickets so be quick.

Please note: Due to alcohol being served this is an 18-years + event


When: Friday 18 December, 7.00 – 10.30pm

Where: Te Papa, Wellington Foyer, Level 2


Te Papa Talks: Up Close with WOW

Hear fascinating behind-the-scene stories of how the people at WOW bring this yearly event together. Each week will be a different theme, so come to one, or to them all. Exhibition entry not included. 

This is a free event.



Tue 15 Dec 2020, 12.00pm–1.00pm The Making of a WOW with Stephen Blackburn and Malia Johnston

Tue 19 Jan 2021, 12.00pm–1.00pm The Art of being a WOW model with Leonie Trathen

Tue 2 Feb 2021, 12.00pm–1.00pm Caring for the Collection with Tanya Jacobs 


Where: Te Papa, The Wedge, outer Toi Art Foyer, Level 4


Te Papa presents: WOW Whānau Day

Bring the whole family to Te Papa for a day of imagination and wearable art. Enjoy craft activities and fun with Fifi Colston. Exhibition entry not included.

This is a free event.



Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10.00am–2.00pm


Where: Te Papa




How do I re-book or refund my booking now that the exhibition dates have been postponed?

Where is the exhibition World of WearableArt – Up Close?

When does the exhibition open and when does it close?

How long does it take to go around the exhibition?

Who can purchase a family ticket?

Can I book for a large group or school class and who am I best to contact?

Can I book on the day at Te Papa?

I have booked my ticket and chosen my session entry time, when do I need to arrive and what if I’m early or late?

If I’ve purchased general admission into the exhibition but then decide to upgrade to a special Te Papa event experience, can I do so and how does that work?

What are the additional events available?

What are the relaxed viewing sessions and when are they held?

Covid-19 Information:




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