Archive for July, 2009
AHOEITU – DAWN BREAK
A solo exhibition by Visesio Siasau
The meeting point of darkness (Ono’aho) and Light (Onopooni) was conceived by heaven (Puloto) and earth (Maama) and represents the beginning of time. Since then life has evolved so too has the practise of art.
“Through this sculptural narrative I have explored the ancient Tongan practise and have conveyed my interpretation through contemporary materials and form. I explore the process of adapting and adopting new technology in a modern context and how this is relevant to my evolution of time. It is a reflection of the shifting in time and in space through the process of making art and my journey (Hikifonua) as a Tongan.” – Visesio Siasau
ethKnowcentrix - Museums Inside the Artist, 10 Sep-10 Oct 2009
Shigeyuki Kihara-George Nuku-Rosanna Raymond-Lisa Reihana
The first exhibition of its kind in London, ethKnowcentrix – Museums Inside the Artist features mixed media and performance work exploring the idea of the ethnographic gaze, by four leading artists from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the Pacific Islands.
Visions of exotic beauty and mystery have dominated British perceptions of the Pacific Islands since the time of Captain Cook. Fuelled by the fantastic narratives of returning explorers, anthropologists and artists, this exotic imagery provided the basis for museum displays and underpinned the emerging discipline of ethnography (the classification of people and cultures). Yet while the Europeans were busy imagining ‘Noble Savages’ and ‘Dusky Maidens’, the Pacific Islanders were looking back at them, negotiating, exchanging and sharing goods and ideas on their own terms. This exhibition reconsiders the spaces of meeting, looking and representing across cultures, and explores how the ethnographic gaze has been reciprocated and challenged. With acerbic wit, these works promise to radically subvert the European legacy of museum classification, reclaim popular imagery of Pacific Island culture, and offer fresh perspectives for a shared global future.
Hard TacTics 14 July – 8 August 2009
56A Ghuznee Street, Wellington
Opening preview 5.30 – 7.30pm, Tuesday 14 July 2009
Hard Tactics is a light-hearted play on hard materials and the dynamic generated in the interaction between an artist’s goals and the medium employed to give form to that intent. Hard materials are true to themselves and their inherent characteristics help shape the work
the artist produces.
SOPELEMALAMA FILIPE TOHI is a leading Polynesian
sculptor who works with a range of materials including
wood, stone and steel to create three-dimensional
sculptures that represent a contemporary rendering of
the traditional pan-Polynesian lashing (lalava) used on
houses, canoes and tools. In abstracting this ancient
technology, he weaves past and present, Polynesian
and western art, to create distinctive new forms that
speak to as much to geometric abstraction as to his
own heritage. Tongan-raised, Tohi has lived in New
Zealand for 30 years. He has worked full-time as an
artist since 1990 and has exhibited widely throughout
the world. He has major public sculptures in New
Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Japan and China.
ROBYN IRWIN is a glass artist producing distinctive
painterly effects unusual in the medium. Inspired by
New Zealand’s volcanic landscapes, she eschews the
conventional translucency of her medium and employs
opaque glass to suggest the patterns solidified in rock
as viscous molten lava cools. In less than a decade of
practice as a glass artist, Irwin has established an
impressive track record with work in public and private
collections in New Zealand, Australia and the United
States including Te Papa, the Ebeltoft Glass Museum
in Denmark and Elton John.
Gallery hours: Wednesday – Friday 11am – 5.30pm, Saturdays 11am – 3pm
By Cook Island/ New Zealand artists David Teata and Kay George.
Featuring Paintings, Prints and mixed media artworks…
David Teata completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts through the Otago School of Art in 2006, majoring in printmaking.. In 2008 he achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Art and Design through AUT. He shares his time between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, researching his genealogy, and the histories and traditions of his ancestors. Through the symbolic use of shapes, patterns and motifs Teata combines traditional and contemporary elements, investigating the fusion of past and present within our current context. His work draws inspiration from the dynamic process of merging, sharing and intersecting that is shaping our multicultural society here in New Zealand.
“My work embraces and celebrates the uniqueness of our diverse culture here in New Zealand. It has a strong Polynesian presence, expressed through a fusion of traditional and contemporary elements”.
New Zealand born Kay George has lived in the Cook Islands since 1988. She runs an art studio / gallery with husband, artist Ian George, and is currently completing her Masters year in Art and Design through Auckland University of Technology.
George has also exhibited extensively in group shows as well as solo shows throughout Australia and the Pacific region. Her textile techniques have also been featured in media learning publications distributed by the New Zealand education curriculum services of primary school education.
The focus of her studies has been ‘Snapshots of Rarotonga’ where the artist has photographed family, friends and people in the community of Rarotonga and screen printed them onto fabrics and mixed media works. The concept being as a documentation of the changes occurring within a small pacific island community.
Media release LeSA Gallery
I AM! or AM I
AM I less …because I can’t stand corned beef?
AM I less …because KFC makes me sick?
AM I less …because I don’t play rugby?
AM I less …because I question the village council?
AM I less …because I laugh at the church leaders?
AM I less …because I can’t stand the ministers hypocracy
AM I less …because I am not patient while they shaft us?
AM I less …because I can’t take the one hour on Sunday?
AM I less …because I question it when they take 20 hours of my weeks pay?
AM I less … because I can’t stand by, let them pacify me and not say a word?
AM I even .. Samoan?
by Siliga David Setoga
As a new curator ‘Don’t Pacify Me’ began as an opportunity to explore the current condition and direction of contemporary Pacific art: is it moving away from the ‘frangipani’ of yesterday and perhaps even the Pasifika legends of our current urban locale. Are the emerging artists pushing boundaries within the contemporary Pacific art world, following our contemporary predecessors and I if so, in what way and what are their new points of reference?
‘Don’t Pacify Me’ exhibits the artistic persuasions of eighteen senior Pacific student artists. Exhibited are varying concepts explored through different art practices, such as the politics of public space addressed in moving image work; stratagems of the painting process painstakingly painted, whilst the mundane object is elevated in a devoted effort of 100 + drawings; time, space and the memories in between are explored in thoughtful installations; a perceptive sculpture transcends the third dimension; familiar urban sites are exhibited through photography and translations of pattern and material culture through 1:1 installations. These emerging artists present a wider palette than what is currently understood thematically and to some extent aesthetically as Pacific art.
So how do we correspond to atypical work produced by artists of Pacific ancestry? Firstly acknowledge that artistic change is inevitable since it naturally correlates with the evolution of culture itself. In time, further discussions may need to inform what actually determines Pacific art as a movement: is it the Pacific aesthetic, thought or agency? For now the exemplary work of these artists speak for itself: ‘Don’t Pacify Me’. As both an entreaty and a demand, this title came after discussions with artists and is my perspective of the message. This dual statement rejects cultural art/artist stereotyping and reciprocally demands recognition simply as a fine artist.
Undeniably cultural identity is an advantageous point of difference for artists, yet for many this may become negotiable when considering vocational bearings in a wider art society. Furthermore the radical nature of the creative is to escape the predictable, which in this instance can be the Pacific Island cultural box. ‘Don’t Pacify Me’ empathizes with this on-going dilemma and asks today’s artists to explain who they are and their realities as artists.
With gratitude to Tautai Trust, St. Paul Street gallery it is an honor to present ‘Don’t Pacify Me’: the enlightening work of eighteen artists. Their loaded messages implore us to not assume but first give them space to demarcate an artistic existence that is then to be reckoned with.