© 2019 Nocturnal Projections & Other Small Happenings

Website by Laura Bovey





Kia Ora , Maloelelei, Bula Vinaka, and Hello 

Nocturnal Projections and Other Small Happenings is a non-profit biennial festival showcasing renowned sound and light artists from around New Zealand. We are a series of small interruptions in the wintry, dark sky landscapes of Dunedin City, highlighted by a series of discussions, performances, interviews and other small events. 

Art and music are the backbone of culture. Without these integral cultural reflections and unifiers, there is no culture. Nocturnal Projections and Other Small Happenings intends to enhance the thriving arts and music culture of Dunedin by creating a humble sound and light group festival showcasing artists from all over New Zealand (including Dunedin). In order to ensure maximum benefit to the general public of Dunedin, and with the support of a diverse group of people and organisations, our artists exhibit in multiple public spaces around Dunedin city. By utilising these spaces, we create many beneficial outcomes for the artists and organisations involved, as well as the general public. These benefits include dispelling some of the mysteries surrounding contemporary art by taking it out of the confinements of gallery walls and into the public domain, encouraging people to visit galleries with confidence.


Nocturnal Projections and Other Small Happenings will return in Winter 2021, following our successful events in 2017 and 2019.

Origins of the name

I was a very young teenager and my oldest sister Kalo lived in Auckland with her finger on the pulse. Through her, I was lucky enough to see many of the best bands from this era. The underground NZ music and art scene really was so exciting and radical, especially within the context of those times. The 1980s was a time of extremes, and from the extremes came radical change in New Zealand Culture. Before and after the polarisation of values we experienced as a country with the Springbok Tour, the majority of New Zealand was ultra conservative and the underground concurrently was ultra radical.


All my work and thinking is and was formed and influenced by the dinosaurs from those years. There was the Dunedin sound and there was the Auckland or North Island sound, including the Childrens Hour, Fetus Productions, The Tall Dwarves, The Body Electric, The Abel Tasmans, The Boogadaggas, and Pet Cemetery, to name but a few. Amongst them was Nocturnal Projections, a band from Stratford, a tiny little town near New Plymouth. This exhibition’s name is derived directly from this band, and references for me not only the band but also one of the most exciting eras of New Zealand Music.


A big thanks to Peter Jefferies and the Nocturnal Projections band for their support of the use their name.

Cath Cocker 

Curator & Event Coordinator