Auckland based Sylvia, uses painting to capture the fresh colours and distinctive beauty of Polynesia. In 2003, Sylvia was awarded the Cook Island Artist’s Residency, visiting the country for the first time. She spent three months in Rarotonga conducting workshops and linking in to local art activities and groups. Sylvia used her time to explore her family connections and was able to develop a stronger relationship with the natural environment of Rarotonga and objects and symbols, which have become emblematic in
She has previously noted that “to Cook Islanders, flowers represent all that is beautiful and bountiful in their natural environment. Flowers worn on the hair of women, or behind the ear. They are an evocative emblem of femininity and the flourishing Pacific”. Sylvia’s contribution to the Paringa Ou exhibition in 1998 marks the serious beginnings of her career, providing her with a supportive network of artists of Cook Island heritage working in Aotearoa. Painting has since become an important vehicle for the expression of her Cook Island heritage and a way of honouring and maintaining her father’s memory.
Sylvia exhibits regularly in New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Recent group exhibitions include: Cross-Currents, Matakana Gallery, 2008; Te Manea O Rarotonga, Reef Gallery, Auckland, 2007; Pacific Rhythm, Waiheke Art Gallery, 2007, and Frangipani Lush, The Edge/Aotea Centre, Auckland, 2006. Sylvia is represented by The Art Studio gallery in Rarotonga.