Ashlei- Luckman Taupaki, Darcell Apelu, Juanita-Louisa Karora, and Nia-Val Ngaro
Curated by Juanita-Louisa Karora
20 October – 29 October 2017
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Vessel draws on the biblical passage which alludes to women as the ‘weaker vessel’, assigning them in a subservient role to their male counterparts. This exhibition features a woven tapestry of work by four women of Pacific Island descent who use their bodies as a vessel to challenge constructions of the self formed through biblical ideology and representations in popular culture. The Pacific woman is a metamorphosis, an ever-changing oxymoron no longer understood as a singular representation.
Earlier this year, Rotorua Museum launched the mentoring programme to help a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Creative Industries Degree programme at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Rotorua Museum Lead Exhibition Curator, Ane Tonga, provided curatorial advice, encouragement and industry experience to Juanita-Louisa Karora to design and curate her own exhibition.
Ane knows the importance of supporting up and coming arts students as Tautai played a supportive role in her own career.
“I have benefited from the support of Tautai and went on to curate their biennial tertiary exhibition in 2016 which toured for the first time, and now it has come full circle where I am providing mentoring assistance to a future arts curator”.
Juanita-Louisa was delighted to be partnered with Rotorua Museum because of her strong affiliation with Pacific artists and artworks near her hometown of Tauranga.
“It has been a real eye opener to what it is like to work in the industry. This mentoring programme has provided me with a treasure trove full of necessary skills and processes that I am learning to put into practice now and will develop in the future” says Karora.
Tonga has worked alongside Karora to help her curate the upcoming exhibition Vessel. The exhibition weaves together the work of four female artists of Pacific Island descent who use their bodies as a vessel to challenge idealised perceptions formed through biblical ideology and representations in popular culture. Artists include Darcell Apelu, Nia-Val Ngaro and Ashlei-Luckman Taupaki.
Tautai Manager, Christina Jeffery, recognises the importance of mentoring in the arts community.
‘Tautai was formed 30 years ago with the ethos to ‘support pacific art and artists’ so for us, mentoring initiatives such as this one are a perfect extension of what we do. We know that tuakana/teina relationships such as this are invaluable in supporting young practitioners’ said Jeffery.
View the original press release here.
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