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Te Papa, Wellington

World of WearableArt


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Saturday 12 December 2020 to Sunday 14 February 2021

Experience World of WearableArt like never before. A theatrical journey and immersive exhibition that invites you to get up close to the extraordinary garments and explore limitless creativity.

Featuring over 35 works of wearable art from around the world, World of WearableArt Up Close showcases the most breath-taking creations from New Zealand’s very own World of WearableArt.

Discover the jaw-dropping detail and unconventional creativity of wearable art. From 500 abandoned music festival tents transformed into avant-garde works of art, to a wearable Axminster carpet inspired by Frida Kahlo, to a cathedral made from more than 2300 individually cut pieces of laser etched felt, learn about the unique stories behind the designs and be inspired as something WOW this way comes.

For a strictly limited season only.

The suggested length of viewing time is 60 minutes.

Relaxed Viewing Sessions – 4:30 PM & 5:00 PM

Experience a quieter viewing of this immersive exhibition – for visitors with autism or sensory sensitivities, or living with disability.

Visitor numbers at this session are restricted to offer a quieter experience. Sound effects within the exhibition are reduced and passouts can be provided if needed.

If you are an adult requiring a companion or carer for support, they can accompany you free of charge.

High Tea Packages

Prepare for your theatrical journey with our WOW High Tea.

A charming selection of savoury and sweet treats await you, in our Espresso Café on level 4. 

Book now to join the crowd, your ticket includes entry to the WOW Up Close exhibition.

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

High Tea at 11am with a 12pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 12pm with a 1pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 1pm with a 2pm entry exhibition ticket
High Tea at 2pm with a 3pm entry exhibition ticket

Specific dietary requirements can be met. Please contact HERE with your dietary requirements at least 48 hours prior to your booking.

Please note the High Tea packages are off sale 48 hours prior to the event day.

Late Nights

Join us for a Late Night of up-close wearable art, after hours.

Ticket price includes entry to the exhibition, entertainment, one drink on arrival and all night access to our canape food stations.

Leave the kids at home, as this is an adults only (R18) event.

Opening Preview Night

Official WOW Up Close Preview Party

Celebrate all things wearable art with a night out at Te Papa. Get an up-close look of garments, enjoy live music, 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, this is a session for those over 18.

Dinner, Drag & Art

Treat yourself with an all-inclusive night of entertainment at Te Papa. Enjoy drinks 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, a 3-course fine dining and wine experience, as well as entertainment from your favourite Wellington Drag artists & local band.

Toi Art Highlights Tour

·       Includes exhibition entry
·       Uncover more about Aotearoa New Zealand's young history on a guided tour of the national art collection in Toi Art. Discover how perspectives on Māori, New Zealand, and Pasifika identity have changed over time.
·       Up to 15 pax

WOW Up Close Exhibition Tour

·       Includes exhibition entry
·       Bringing the stories of selected artworks to life. A chance to hear about the journey artists took when creating certain pieces.
·       Up to 15 pax

For a private tour and further information, please contact


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

Images courtesy of World of WearableArt Ltd
Image credit: Underling, Gillian Saunders, New Zealand