A Tongan/Oglala Lakota photographer, musician, artist and screen playwright from Porcupine, South Dakota is the recipient of the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust 2017 Artist Residency.
“Juliana Brown Eyes – Kaho is compelled to show the world the beauty of indigenous cultures through the contemporary lens of photography,” says Tautai manager Christina Jeffery. “Her passion and commitment to exploring how to use art and cultural identity as a social justice vehicle for indigenous issues were evident in her application. This focus on being a ‘culture bearer’ and the quality of her work make her an ideal recipient for 2017’s Artist Residency. The five-week residency will provide Juliana and the artists she meets with fertile opportunities to share and discuss ideas and experiences.”
Juliana says her heritage as a First Nation/Native American with a Tongan grandfather allows her the “honour and duty” to explore what a fusion of her two cultures would look like. “I’m excited to explore the possibilities of interweaving my Lakota knowledge of traditional artwork with Tongan practices of the tapa cloth, to learn the meanings and importance of the symbols, to feel the pride as I wear my own tapa cloth someday.”
“Juliana is looking forward to meeting and spending time with the wide range of Pacific artists that live in Auckland during her residency,” Christina Jeffery says. “We have no doubt that she will find her time here stimulating and thought provoking.”
As well as previous artists benefiting from the experience, the residencies build reciprocal networks for New Zealand resident artists. “These Artist In Residence opportunities enable talented overseas-based artists to meet with artists based here and are part of Tautai’s role as a lead organisation facilitating the development of contemporary Pacific art and artists here and internationally.”
The Tautai Artist Residency is offered to an artist outside New Zealand every two years and provides the artist with return airfares, accommodation and a stipend. The ‘gift of time’ gives the artist the opportunity to meet and interact with the local art community, visit galleries, libraries and public institutions for research – and to participate in events held in Auckland during February and March.
The panel considering applications for the 2017 Artist In Residence were sculptor Ioane Ioane, artist and writer Louisa Afoa, Whitespace gallery director Deborah White and Tautai manager Christina Jeffery.