Pairing up artists to produce works that honour their ancestors is the genesis for curator Reina Sutton’s forthcoming project, Myths and Legends in my veins.
“We are all connected somehow,” Reina says. “There are myths and legends from all corners of the world. One or more of these stories flow through our bloodlines. The purpose of Myths and Legends in my veins is to reveal some of these, and how they connect us with others.”
This Tautai supported exhibition will present adornments that draw on the strength of the artists’ forebears, honouring them – and the myths and legends passed down that shape the artists’ world view. The works will be collaborative and Reina hopes audiences will continue this ‘conversation’.
“Our myths and legends live on through us. Myths and Legends in my veins is about encouraging discussions about who you are, what you know about yourself and your connections with others. It’s about learning and looking towards your ancestors and getting to know them because I feel that, to know your ancestors is to know yourself.”
A selection of adornments that the artists produce will be activated, at the opening of the exhibition, by dancers who will embody/channel the artists’ ancestors/deities. A full version of this activation will be filmed and projected in the gallery space. This moving image/short film will be the second collaboration between artists Robert George and Reina Sutton. The resulting moving image work will have another life as a digital catalogue of the exhibition which can be accessed when the exhibition opens in October.
“My own practice revolves around storytelling and activating spaces,” Reina says, “and my culture also places a high value on personal adornment”. Myths and Legends in my veins draws on both elements. “After being brought up in a religious household which distanced me from my Solomon Island culture, I’m now going through the process of becoming more familiar with my/that culture as well as other cultures in the Pacific. Adornments such as the Kapkap feature heavily in my culture. You will find throughout my work, that I reference these adornments. They are not mere trinkets. These pieces encapsulate and are a source of power and strength. They are physical representations of our Chiefs and in some provinces of the Solomon Islands, these adornments hold the spirits of the dead. For myself, to wear jewellery/adornments from my culture is an important part of being physically connected to my people.”
Reina hopes the works in Myths and Legends in my veins will prove intriguing for the artists and audiences alike. “This will be my first major curatorial project in a public gallery. I’m excited about the people I’m working with and to see what they come up with. Ultimately I want them to create an interesting narrative that opens up discussions in their own and audience’s minds.”
The 35-year old believes everyone is creative, including individuals who are discouraged from believing so. She has deliberately chosen artists and pairings with complementary and differing personalities and practices, in an effort to engineer combinations that work together and provoke thought.
Curated by Reina Sutton, artists include Rosanna Raymond and Molana Sutton; Siliga David Setoga and Sean Terra Hill; Mandy Flood and Troy Egan; Vaimaila Urale and Dorothy de Lautour; Julian Chote and artist Ben Birks; Robert George and Reina Sutton.
24 October – 5 December 2015
Papakura Art Gallery, 10 Averill Street, Auckland< BACK TO LISTINGS