Quishile Charan & Salome Tanuvasa
29 June – 22 July 2017
Bringing together the work of Quishile Charan and Salome Tanuvasa, Namesake explores the related ideas of lineage and displacement, developed within an atmosphere of friendship and close dialogue between both artists. Matriarchal family figures are central to these investigations. In Charan’s case, she has produced textiles that pay tribute to her aaji (paternal grandmother), as both her own namesake and the person who first introduced Charan to the practice of textile making as an expansive knowledge system.
For Namesake, Charan has produced a series of works featuring designs based on her aaji’s likeness, dalo (taro) leaves and a red hibiscus flower. These works employ a variety of techniques including screen printing, hand embroidery, laser cutting and embellishment. Some have been dyed with pigment from kawakawa leaves. Draped over a makeshift clothesline in the gallery, this method of display recalls an environment of learning and memory. Here, ‘a line’ doesn’t simply refer to a place to dry our clothes, it can also mean a succession of people, an inheritance.
Responding to the handwritten notes and drawings accompanying the list of numbers in her mother’s Warwick 3B1 phonebook, Tanuvasa’s work—including drawings that resemble radio waves, wind, or currents in the water—infers movement and connection in relation to physical and technological environments. These drawings respond to the environmental noises heard on long distance calls to relatives living in Vava’u and Tongatapu: from familiar interference and delays on the phone connection, to the specific sound of wind in the trees. Tanuvasa also acknowledges the digital background for these conversations, where wireless service providers such as the multi-national Digicell have a very strong presence in the Pacific, capitalising on the high uptake of cell phone and data usage due to the high volume of communication between relatives living in and outside of the Islands.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Quishile Charan is an emerging artist of Indo-Fijian heritage living and working in Aotearoa New Zealand. Charan uses traditional modes of textile making to reflect upon the landscape of indentured labour and its ongoing post-colonial affects on the Indo-Fijian community. Recent projects include: A Turn of a Wheel (group), Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland (2017); New Perspectives (group), Artspace, Auckland (2016); Samundar and Haldi, Objectspace, Auckland (2016). Charan holds an honours degree in Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland.
Salome Tanuvasa is a Samoan-Tongan artist based in Auckland. She completed her Masters in Fine Arts at Elam in 2014, followed by a Diploma in Secondary Teaching. Salome was the Artspace/Tautai Education Intern in 2016 and now is the Education Manager at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts. Her art practice looks at the ideas of home and the multiple connections of a place that can inform the characteristics of a person.
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