tungaru: the kiribati project
Bwebweraki by Chris Charteris as part of the Tungaru: Kiribati Project (Photo credit: Krzysztof Pfeiffer, Jeff Smith, Jacinda Torrance)
acific visual artists are rising to national prominence as New Zealand becomes home to more and more diverse cultures and a growing Pacific population. It is common for Pacific artists here in New Zealand to draw on their cultural identities as inspiration for their work, but how many are also faced with the prospect of having their ancestral homeland disappear? Tungaru: The Kiribati Project opens in July at the Mangere Arts Centre and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. A collaborative exhibition of works by Chris Charteris and Jeff Smith the project was born out of Charteris’ desire to explore his ancestral homeland Kiribati, to learn and experience life on these fragile atolls and to meet and connect with his family. The exhibition illustrates his and Smith’s responses to the month they spent in Kiribati and the extensive research undertaken since their visit. Tungaru aims to celebrate Kiribati culture and bring
together the country’s diaspora here in New Zealand, while simultaneously making reference to global issues such as climate change, over-population, fresh water contamination and the imminent threat to an indigenous culture. Charteris is of Kiribati and Fijian descent and as a full time artist, sculptor and jeweller he has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand and internationally since the mid 1980s. He lives in Kuaotunu on the Coromandel Peninsula with his partner Lizzy Leckie and their son Atawhai. Charteris describes himself as a ‘beach comber’, often using found objects in his projects. He aims to create work that reflects his mixed cultural inheritance, making art that is rich both in meaning and purpose. We spoke over the phone about Tungaru: the Kiribati Project and he enlightened me about a culture and place that I knew little of beyond the environmental issues covered in mainstream
media. It was heart warming to hear Charteris speak of his love for his culture and family and the wider Kiribati community. Seeing as this was Charteris’ first visit to Kiribati and his first exhibition dedicated to a Kiribati theme it came as no surprise that at first he was apprehensive. But his overriding desire was to put Kiribati culture on the New Zealand contemporary arts scene and give something back to his community. Our intention behind this show is to highlight and showcase Kiribati’s unique culture, to celebrate it and share it with the wider community! That’s the kind of essence with it; everything else is sort of a bonus. It’s about giving Kiribati a profile and to get I-Kiribati people together to enjoy it. Since 2012 Charteris and his family have been involved with Ueen Kiribati, which is a community group based in Waikato that was established over thirty years ago. The members
Since Tungaru: the Kiribati Project celebrates the importance of a culture currently threatened by climate change and global warming, while also trying to bring together I-Kiribati in New Zealand, I asked Charteris what advice he might offer a younger generation of I-Kiribati. His response was:
gather together for cultural camps where the elders are able to teach the next generation the Kiribati language, dance, weaving and other cultural skills. Ueen Kiribati helped introduce Charteris to his ancestral heritage. The group is helping him learn his indigenous language and they have shown support for his exhibition through their mentoring and the translation of the titles of individual pieces on display. One of the major works in Tungaru is “Te Ma” which is a large installation made from bivalve Ringed Venus shells that have been stitched together, forming the shape of a Kiribati fish trap. The shells for “Te Ma” were collected over an eighteen month period. Though most of the collecting was done by Charteris and Leckie, the community got behind them by giving them bags of shells and also informing them whenever shells surfaced along the beach. Charteris first caught sight of the fish traps while flying over the outer islands of Kiribati. At first he had a romanticised thought about them being giant love hearts for the tourists. It wasn’t until he got to see them up close and through his family that he learned how grand and resourceful these heart shaped objects are. In Kiribati building a fish trap is a communal task so Charteris wanted to emulate this when creating “Te Ma” by getting his family, friends and community involved in assembling the large installation in the Kuaotunu hall. And just as the trap is meant to capture fish, Charteris hopes “Te Ma” will capture his audience’s attention and imagination. “Te Nii-the Giver of Life” is another major work in Tungaru. For this Charteris incorporated materials he gathered from Kiribati to create a cross formation using half coconut shells strung together with te kora—coconut fibre string. Te kora is made from coconut husk with the fibres collected, soaked in seawater for three months, sun-dried, and then rolled into string. Te kora is still the preferred cord for binding in Kiribati. According to Charteris, “It’s like gold—the string that binds the culture together”. While the coconut has been crucial over history for sustaining life on most Pacific islands, “Te Nii” will give audiences insight into its specific importance in Kiribati culture.
Stay connected to your culture and keep it alive by getting involved with I-Kiribati and groups. With this project we’ve been trying to encourage just that! Don’t be shy to share your skills with other I-Kiribati. Family and friends assembling Te Ma (Photo courtesy: Lizzy Leckie)
I was interested in whether Charteris’ previous training in Maori carving and visual arts influenced the Tungaru show in any way. He told me that I-Kiribati make the most of the few resources they have, and because they have no hard stone and very limited timber in their natural ecology decorative carving was not practiced. He had to take a step back from what he had learned as a carver because Kiribati priorities are so different to those in New Zealand, particularly compared to Maori traditional embellishments. Charteris states that in Kiribati “the beauty of work is in its functionality.” A canoe for example may not look decorative but the I-Kiribati consider a canoe as a valued member of the family. Whereas Maori architecture and canoes can be highly decorated, in Kiribati embellishments are found mainly in dance costumes and jewellery.
Most art lovers in New Zealand will have never seen a whole exhibition dedicated to the celebration of Kiribati culture. When we hear about Kiribati the attention is often on the devastation wrought by climate change and over-population, which are serious matters that deserve to be recognised. The exhibition publication and Smith’s work explicitly acknowledge the importance of the environmental crisis that the Republic of Kiribati currently faces. But Charteris’ intention for visiting his homeland was to connect with his family and to experience the Kiribati culture and way of living. This is what he wanted to convey most in his contributions to the show. Therefore, none of Charteris’ Tungaru artwork refers to climate change or the potential exodus from the islands. Instead his contributions highlight and rejoice in the invigorating Kiribati culture he encountered, determined to keep the overcasting shadow of devastation at bay. With this exhibition Charteris wanted to bring Kiribati to Aotearoa so that audiences could have a visual experience of the culture that was as dramatic as the islands themselves. Tungaru: the Kiribati Project is so much bigger than the artists who brought this project to life. It is about a community that has learned to survive; it is about the cords that bind a people together; it is a story that needs to be told, from a culture that is ready to be proclaimed alongside other Pacific cultures in New Zealand.
Chris Charteris with part of the Te Ma work (Photo courtesy: Lizzy Leckie)
Emily Fatu Victoria University Masters student majoring in Pacific Studies
fresh horizons christchurch performance poetry (Tusiata Avia) and screen printing (Josh Bashford). The workshops ended with a showcase of what was produced during the workshops and it was definitely a place to shine and unleash creativity.
28, 29, 30 April 2014 Talofa lava
y name is Annabel Ariki and I was one of the very fortunate young CPIT students that were able to take part in “Fresh Horizons”. Over three days during the term one holidays Fresh Horizons was held at CPIT for our Christchurch Pasifika high school students and what an amazing three days it was! There were opportunities to learn from the best in workshops on fashion (Lindah Lepou),
Thank you Silivelio Fasi and Tautai for organising this amazing opportunity. Annabel Ariki Students carving their design for screen printing (Photo courtesy: Silivelio Fasi)
Kam na bane ni Mauri
e have completed our major application for funding to Creative New Zealand for the next three years along with an application to ASB Community Trust for twelve months operational support. The CNZ application particularly is a huge piece of work in which we put forward projects and events we would like to become part of our program. This year our application is for a much extended program which if successful we will see Tautai widening our reach considerably. We will hear the results of both applications in August. In April we gathered nineteen tertiary students together and put them onto a bus driven by Siliga David Setoga for the annual Tertiary Road Art Trip. This year the destination was again Wellington and we were there to support and celebrate the Tonga ‘i Onopooni Tonga Contemporary exhibition which opened at Pataka on 13 April. I know the artists were all very happy to have the support and the students were likewise very proud to be there. It was, as usual, a wonderful happy enthusiastic eye opening intensive trip and another that the participants will remember for a long time. April also saw Lonnie Hutchinson and Niki
Hastings-McFall off to Invercargill to deliver a three day workshop to art educators. This was another joint Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust and Tautai initiative, based loosely on the Fresh Horizons workshops. Artists, participants and Lisa and Pauline from Murihiku all declared it to be a great success. At the same time just up the road in Christchurch was an actual Fresh Horizons workshop, based at CPIT with tutors Tusiata Avia, Josh Bashford and Lindah Lepou with assistance from three current CPIT students Annabelle Ariki, Ben Robertson and Matala Taufua. The ghastly weather did nothing to deter the thirty or more secondary school students from turning up each day and making some great art. Happening at the same time in Auckland was Backyard Gesture curated by Natasha MatilaSmith and Salome Tanuvasa at a space given to us by Bizdojo in the IronBank Building on Karangahape Road. This sort-of popup exhibition was a great opportunity for Salome and Natasha to curate and bring together a show using work by senior tertiary students. The very busy Talia Smith was mentor for this project while also co-curating with Ioana Gordon-Smith
their exhibition at Papakura Art Gallery in May titled A Sense of Place. Tautai had the use of the entire gallery space for this quite beautiful mainly photographic exhibition which included works by such well known artists as Robert Ellis and Laurence Aberhart alongside young emerging artists. Our thanks to both Bizdojo and Papakura Art Gallery for their much appreciated support. We farewelled Robert George from the Digital Media role and have welcomed Ngariki Ngatae as his replacement. Watch out for Ngariki’s posts on Facebook and Twitter and she is getting geared up for our new website which is due to go public in August. We have also appointed A.D. Schierning to the new role of Program and Engagement beginning 30 June. A.D. leaves Papakura Art Gallery to join Tautai and prior to that was at Artstation. Please feel free to call into the office to say hello to Ngariki and A.D. as well as the rest of us if you are ever in Ponsonby. We’d love to see you. ami bau te Mauri, te Raoi ao te Tabomoa Christina and Team Tautai
educators workshop Tautai and Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Trust Workshops for Teachers at Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill 28-30 April 2014.
very fortunate to have two leading artists Niki Hastings-McFall and Lonnie Hutchinson share their skills, passion and knowledge.
The inspiration that was felt by the educators we know will be shared with the young people they work with.
Twenty educators and artists, two international reknown artists plus clay, junk materials, laughter and alofa make for an exciting and inspiring mix.
Educators were encouraged to look inside themselves and express it through their art work. Also to look at the ‘throw away’ materials in a different way and see their intrinsic beauty. Pushing boundaries, critiquing the product and reflecting on the process were an integral part of the workshop.
Our thanks once again to SIT for their amazing support - and one of the participants noted:
autai and MMPCT again worked collaboratively on a new initiativeWorkshops for Educators.The participants were
“ I was able to personally reflect whilst participating in art to reinforce the personal benefits it can provide to our young people” Pauline Smith and Lisa Tou Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust
Lonnie and workshop participants
(Photo courtesy: Murihiku PolyFest Facebook Page)
(Photo courtesy: Murihiku PolyFest Facebook Page)
a sense of place 10 May – 21 June Papakura Art Gallery
or Ioana Gordon-Smith and I, A Sense of Place was our attempt to re-position roads as powerful influences in our lives. The exhibition, and its title, was influenced by J. B. Jackson’s text A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time. Jackson states that one of the least investigated aspects of culture is our ambivalent attitude towards roads, observing that beneath the varied (but unrecognised) reactions to roads is a basic acknowledgment of them as a very powerful space. We wanted to bring together works that give a sense of how powerful – and multifarious – roads can be. The exhibition included a wide spectrum of artists, as well as iconic works that have been the subject of essays to new works made just for the exhibition.
Ioana Gordon-Smith and Talia Smith at the opening of A Sense of Place, Papakura Art Gallery (Photo courtesy: Louisa Afoa)
A few of the works are the result of personal journeys along roads. Salome Tanuvasa’s 16mm film Queen St records the everyday movement along the main drag in Panmure, which as a young child was her path to and from school.
Similarly, Michelle Beattie’s sculpture Landscape study reflects upon her daily walk to work from Kingsland to Grey Lynn. Anita Jacobsen too considered how hubs are formed along the street. The work of two iconic photographers, Laurence Aberhart and Robin Morrison, also offered a photographic journey along the communities of Taranaki and Ponsonby Road. We also wanted to give a sense of the complexity of roads and how contested they can be as sites. In Tight Rope (2011) Jeremy Leatinu’u considers the fraught ownership of roads as public spaces, testing to what extent roads can accommodate both cars and pedestrians. Michael Tubberty’s iconic image The Long Road Ahead, Dame Whina Cooper, was originally published in The Herald in 1975. The photograph captures Dame Whina and her granddaughter, three year old Irene Cooper, at the beginning of their 1000 kilometre hīkoi from the Far North to Wellington in protest against the sale of Māori land. Siobhan van Heerden’s photographs took Hunter’s Corner as their subject, where the roads have become a contested site between conservative locals and working prostitutes. As roads shift, merge, or are built their forms can enact massive change. Robert Ellis’ seminal Motorway Series (1963-1974) is famous for the portrayal of an urbanising Auckland as flattened aerial landscapes. We were lucky enough to borrow Motorway/City No. 15 (1969) for the exhibition from Wallace Arts Trust. James Wylie and David Ed Cooper considered the changing role of the Hamilton City Circuit in their series of five posters. Similarly, Thomas Hinton responded
Art work by Salome Tanuvasa (Photo courtesy: Louisa Afoa)
to the recent changes happening along Whakaiwhara (the original name for Whitford Maraetai Road) in his video work. One work we were particularly excited about was Scott Hamilton, Paul Janman and Ian Powell’s Great South Road Geocaching Project. In the week leading up to the opening the trio hid objects, texts and images in locations along Great South Road. Their website antitravel.net, provided the GPS co-ordinates and invited visitors to take these treasures and replace them with items for the next person to discover. We were really excited to have had a project that extended the duration of the exhibition while offering a truly interactive way to think about roads and their histories, as well as the experiences they offer each of us. The exhibition displayed a diverse range of responses to the concept of roads and allows for new conversations and positions to be explored. With thanks to each artist involved, Tautai and to Papakura Art Gallery for allowing us this opportunity. Talia Smith
backyard gesture B
ackyard Gesture was a three-day pop up exhibition that was running from the 8th to 10th May 2014. The exhibition was held at the BizDojo co-space at Ironbank (Karangahape Road). Artists Natasha Matila-Smith, Salome Tanuvasa mentored by Talia Smith curated this exhibition that was supported by BizDojo in association with Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust. The show featured ten Auckland based artists that explored the ideas of identity, place, culture, education, and materiality. Our initial thought for the selection of the artists was to present a strong and diverse art practice that could relate to people from different cultural backgrounds. These artists communicated their ideas by using a range of mediums to discuss their concepts. A few artists like Sione Faletau and his cousin John Langi, both improvised their performance by using drums. The rule of letting their intuition take charge was a freeing experience to witness. Another artist whose work deals with the notion of ‘to go with the flow’ is Tanith Timo. Her practice deals with the exploration of materiality and is formed by analysing the materials of Indian ink and paper. Timo’s process is constantly
changing as the materials are in control with the ideas of the ‘spontaneous and uncontrolled’ creating the work. Also artist Christina Pataialii uses the medium of painting to discuss the post Polynesian Immigration in New Zealand in the early ‘70s. Pataialii uses her family photographs that reflect the main socio-political and economical issues
for her family at that time. Many artists within this exhibition are highly aware of their situation within today’s society and it was exhilarating to learn, share and discuss the ideas becoming a platform for understanding. Salome Tanuvasa and Natasha Matila-Smith
On the wall left to right: Drawings by Tanith Timo, paintings by Christina Pataialii, photographs by Christian Wolfgramm and posters by Lana Lopesi (Photo courtesy: Elisabeth Alani)
tonga ’i onopooni 12 April – 24 August Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua
ontemporary artists are more often compelled to challenge and break traditions than to follow them. Although the history of Tongan art and culture is rich, the artists in this show do not assume the need to make reference to it. In fact only a few of them do. While all are of Tongan descent, each artist brings to their work a wide variety of individual experiences, interests and backgrounds.
Artist Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u and curator Nina Tonga at the opening of Tonga’i Onopooni, Pataka Art + Museum (Photo courtesy: Elisabeth Alani)
During the panel discussion Filipe Tohi made deliberate mention of his experience working as a carver with Maori in Taranaki, and the significance that this context continues to have for him. All of the artists included in this
exhibition live in Aotearoa, and to some degree all work within the context of Maori culture and New Zealander identity. The panel discussion also sparked an interesting ongoing conversation about the options facing young Tongans in New Zealand, and the financial viability of a career in the fine arts. While money may not be the prime motivation for most artists and art professionals, none can deny the importance of an income. Fine Arts graduates have one of the highest rates of post-graduate employment of any university department. They enter a robust variety of professions including art practice, education, curating, dealing, gallery and museum administration, writing, film industry work and advertising. Fine Arts graduates are highly valued by the workplace for their independence, initiative and ability to solve problems. These are qualities that, as we know, are also innately Tongan! Julian Hooper Matavai Taulangau is currently studying visual arts at AUT University and was on the Art Road Trip. Here are his thoughts on Tonga ‘i Onopooni and what seeing this exhibition in Wellington meant to him.
Haukulasi by Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi viewed by Elam student Aliitasi Makaele (Photo courtesy: Elisabeth Alani)
– what did you like most about the exhibition? Of course the artworks of the artists are an obvious choice. The variety of different interpretations of “Tongan Identity” in the form of Traditional and Contemporary art was just mind- blowing! It was good to see each artists take on the topic with each providing something different. Not only that but also being submerged in the pacific environment. Being surrounded by all the Tongan faces, it felt like home. – was there any particular work you felt inspired by? I was really fascinated by Emily Mafile’o’s photographic work “Killer.” It shows a Tongan gang member pulling what seems to be a gang-related hand gesture. To me the idea was brilliant as she explored certain areas and dimensions that seem to be pushed aside by the Tongan community. It’s not common that Tongan people address the issues of “Gang life”. – did the exhibition meet or exceed your expectations? The exhibition certainly exceeded my expectations no doubt about it! Amazing experience! – what would you like to see more of in the future? Just the growth of pacific artists. More shows like this. It truly was an experience.
Left to right: Knife 2013, Killer 2013, White Door 2013 Photographic prints by Emily Mafile’o (Photo courtesy: Elisabeth Alani)
postcard from portland
ery soon I will be on the final leg of my journey to Canada where I will start my position at the Walter Phillips art gallery in Banff. However I have been fortunate to make a detour to Portland for a few months where I am being hosted by the Twiss whanau. With a strong connection to their Native roots I have previously enjoyed the company of this whanau attending sweat lodges, whanau celebrations and pow wow events, but have most recently enjoyed learning a few things from brother Ian who is one of four sons of Richard (Lakota) and Katherine Twiss (Welsh,Norwegian). Ian has learnt silver smithing from his father-in-law Herbert Platero (Navajo) and during my stay so far Ian has been able to create a piece of jewellery from
greenstone that I gifted to him. The piece is a reminder of the collaborations that could occur during my stay in the great North West. I was recently asked to speak at Title Seven, a programme designed to promote Native education, where Ian works and was welcomed by conversation and encouragement from some of the younger members who thought I did a good job of singing which is so untrue if they had heard other Maori singing. Even though it has only been a month I have been overwhelmed by the opportunities I have had to learn, to speak, to make art, and in true form I have tasted absolutely everything and even managed to get up to Seattle to check out the art galleries and tasted the huge Alaskan oysters. But while I am still here in Portland I
will continue to learn how to bead, enjoy the community, and spend as much time eating the amazing food that is always around with the Twiss whanau. Cora-Allan Wickliffe
Piece of jewellery made with the greenstone gifted by Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Photo courtesy: Cora-Allan Wickliffe)
symposium austronesia Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia May 24 – 25
he polarity and duality of both French supremacy and the indigenous Kanak people in New Caledonia is something that really stood out for me - even more so on my second and most recent visit to Noumea. For that reason, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre’s efforts in preserving local art, culture and voice is one of crucial importance as hosting body and context for the Austronesian symposium. In good timing, we were able to view Kanak, l’Art est une Parole - an important exhibition of traditional and contemporary Kanak art. I especially enjoyed seeing the excellent work of young artists Stephanie Wamytan and Nico Mole. The symposium was interesting as a first timer to a PAA-led event. For two days I sat and listened to a group of people from different parts of the world presenting their expertise in Pacific cultures, notions, artifacts, ideas and architecture. The perspectives were communicated as formal academic research and I found that a bit challenging but it was good. In a moment of sheer confusion, a well-known Kanak artist heckled an Australian curator because he thought she was presenting the Aboriginal art works as her own. His passionate outbursts reminded me that we are here to question, discuss and even fight - whether right or wrong. Director Peini Beatrice Hsieh
(Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts Taiwan) delivered the finest keynote. Her commitment to indigenous Taiwanese arts and fostering relationships in the Pacific was inspirational. I personally adored her reference to working with artists “They are the most difficult creatures on earth, but they are beautiful and I love them the
most”. She continued to inspire when discussing the activation of positive change through art at every level with words that will stick with me for a very long time: “I try to remind everyone that mainstream has been created by the sub stream, hidden streams and every drop”. Janet Lilo
Moments from the symposium (Photos courtesy:Janet Lilo)
Tanu Gago and his series of commissioned new works in Tama’ita’i Pasifika Mao’i, 2014 at Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography (Photo courtesy: Ngariki Ngatae)
Talofa Lava Afio Mai video and performance work by Paul Fagamalo at Mangere Arts Centre
Luisa Tora (front row centre) and some students from MSVA at her exhibition IDAHOT
Nicole Lim (centre) with artists Elisabeth Alani (left) and Doryne Milo (right) at the opening of OTALA which also coincided with Fresh Gallery Otara’s 8th birthday
(Photo courtesy: Fresh Gallery Otara)
(Photo courtesy: Anna Rae)
Moevale Tepepe and daughter Pua Papau with dress made by artist Tenini Tila Bruce at the opening of Kolose: The Art of Tuvalu Crochet, Mangere Arts Centre (Photo courtesy: Sam Hartnett)
(Photo courtesy: Vinesh Kumaran)
Elisabeth Alani, Christina Jeffery and Anita Jacobsen at the opening of A Sense of Place, Papakura Art Gallery (Photo courtesy: Louisa Afoa)
Patron: Fatu Feu’u Board of Trustees: Janet Lilo and Siliga David Setoga (co-chairs), Ron Brownson, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Chris Merrick, Stephen Roberts, Nina Tonga Treasurer/Secretary: Colin Jeffery
Team Tautai: Christina Jeffery (Manager), Elisabeth Alani (Arts Administrator), Ngariki Ngatae (Digital Media), Reina Sutton (Tertiary and Volunteer Support), Faith Wilson (Tertiary Liaison Wellington), Maria Waterhouse (MatouTatou), Louisa Afoa (Social Media and Newsletter Assistant)
tertiary art road trip A
pologies in advance if I have the sequence of events in the wrong order but my memory is not the greatest and secondly, even if I had an exceptional vocabulary I couldn’t even begin to describe how incredible this trip was for me, but I will attempt to give you a glimpse. On a chilly Thursday morning, April 10th 2014, after two pick ups from AUT City Campus and MIT a mini bus full of anxious Pasifika art students were making introductions as they passed the Bombay Hills, beginning their journey towards the Windy City. We had students from Unitec, MIT, AUT, Whitecliffe and Elam and some of them had never been outside of Auckland let alone to Wellington so the excitement was increasing the further away we drove from Tamaki Makaurau. After an approximate eleven hour drive and a few pit stops we made it down to the Capital. Phone cameras were clicking and energy levels were sky high as we drove past the Kapiti Coast and entered Wellington. Not long after unloading all our gear at the Wellywood Backpackers we headed to Te Papa for a special behind the scenes tour with our guides Grace Hutton (Collections Manager) and Nina Tonga (Curator Pacific Cultures). We got to see so many historical artefacts from the Pacific that hold so much value and importance to our identity and culture; from the tapa cloths (ngatu/ siapo) to the kava bowls, ancient weaponry from
Polynesia and even miniature boats mimicking the old double hull canoes that made our Pacific navigators so famous. The next morning we went on a tiki tour around Wellington city, up and down (mostly up), from Cuba Street to Victoria University visiting several galleries, observing and absorbing what this creative little city had to offer. More important than the actual art itself to me was the idea of unlimited creativity. From this one day of viewing various galleries and art stores I realised how there are no restrictions in art. The possibilities are endless and there is no need to limit yourself to any boundaries and that art is your expression, nobody elses. You can explore the universe and nothing can constrain your creativity but you. On the Saturday morning after visiting another gallery and practicing a new team chant “Tautai e” we stopped in at the Weta Workshop, which brought a whole different dynamic to this trip in contrast to what we had been looking at in the past two days. It was perfect timing because we were coming to the end of our trip and we finally faced the world of digital creativity and art. Finally we headed towards Porirua to the Pataka Art + Museum for the main event on this trip, the Tonga ‘i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary opening. This was an exhibition displaying the works of thirteen Tongan artists from sculpture to painting, photography, video and installation. This was the very first of its kind and was an
Tertiary Art Road Trip students on the bus (Photo courtesy: Reina Sutton)
amazing experience, especially for myself as a Tongan and the four other Tongan students on the trip. I would go on to finer detail but my vocabulary could not begin to express my emotional state of pride and happiness seeing history being made right in front of my eyes – you had to be there. On the Saturday night we were all back at the hostel hanging out and talking about how this trip was so awesome and that we need to keep in touch and get together. As the night went on some people ended up heading into the city and dancing on the street. And others ended up in the night clubs acting like they were on the set for Step Up 6. All in all, everybody had a good time and nobody got hurt, except for my rice because I was on the phone but nobody died so chin chin lol. Sunday morning, we all packed up, took a team photo outside Wellywood for the last time, and headed back to the City of Sails with the bitter sweet taste of appreciation for such a great trip and even greater team, but with a tinge of sadness that it was now all over. The first two days we went from strangers to friends; but by the last two days we had become family. Thank you Tautai for the opportunity and for making this life changing trip possible. Siliga, Reina, Elisabeth, Christina , malo ‘aupito, ofa lahi atu! Rizvan Tu’itahi
Fern Grieshofer (Unitec student) and Siliga Setoga in front of Red Room, by Bruce Dehnert at The Dowse, Wellington (Photo courtesy: Elisabeth Alani)
PO Box 68 339, Newton, Auckland, 1145 Artstation, 1B Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland Phone: 09-376 1665 • Fax: 09-376 1825 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.tautai.org
events and exhibitions july | august | september 2014 29 Mar – 20 July. Battle of the Noble Savage. Greg Semu. Te Manawa Museum, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North 12 April – 24 August. Tonga ‘i onopooni: Tonga Contemporary. Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi, Dagmar Dyck, Glen Wolfgramm, Julian Hooper, Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka, ‘Ilo Me’a Fo’ou, Ane Tonga, Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u, John Vea, Lucy Aukafolau, Emily Mafile’o, Vea Mafile’o, Terry Koloamatangi Klavenes. Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, Wellington 3 May – 3 August. Churchward Samoa. Joseph Churchward. Deane Gallery, Civic Square, Wellington 6 June – 16 July. The Floral Show: Local Exotic. The Suburban Floral Association and Janet Lilo curated by Ariane Craig-Smith. Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland South 10 June – 6 July. Hold Your Breath curated by Marlaina Key. Includes Benjamin Work, Kenneth Merrick, Christina Pataialii. Whitespace, Ponsonby, Auckland 11 June – 3 July. Koe Tonga i heni. Maree Guenole. Artstation, Ponsonby, Auckland 18 June – 31 August. Where We’re At!; Other voices on gender. Shigeyuki Kihara. Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium 21 June – 18 July. Tagiaue. Léuli Eshraghi. Neo Space, 7 Campbell St, Collingwood, Victoria Australia 21 June – 2 August. Object Shift. Artists include Graham Fletcher. Objectspace, Ponsonby, Auckland 21 June – 28 September. Wunderruma. Includes Niki Hastings-McFall, Chris Charteris. The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, Wellington 24 June – 12 July. Logic and Reason by Dylan Lind and New Work by Margaret Aull. Orexart. Arch Hill, Auckland 28 June – 23 July. Waking up to the Oculus People. Andy Leleisi’uao. Milford Galleries, Queenstown 3 July 5pm. Squid out of Water book launch. Daren Kamali including guest speakers Ole Maiava, Jahra Rager, Ngariki Ngatae and Grace Taylor. Level 2, Auckland Central Library
4 – 22 July. N8VLAB AK. Includes Michel Tuffery. Railway St Studios & Gallery, Newmarket 5 July – 23 November. Tungaru: The Kiribati Project. Chris Charteris and Jeff Smith. Pacific Galleries, Auckland Museum 7 July – 5 September. Massey University’s College of Creative Arts Pasifika Resident 2014. Sheyne Tuffery. College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington 8 – 27 July. Lily Laita: Va I Ta - Illumination. Lily Laita. Whitespace, Auckland 11 July – 23 August.To and Fro. Artists include Darcell Apelu. Artspace, Auckland 12 July 10am-2pm. FAMBAM! Free family portraits. Janet Lilo. Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland South 12 July – 24 August. Tungaru: The Kiribati Project. Chris Charteris. Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland South 12 July – 12 October. Walters Prize exhibition. Finalists include Luke Willis Thompson and Kalisolaite ‘Uhila. Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland 17 July – 3 August. Art Stabs Power: que se vayan todos! Artists include: Angela Tiatia. Bermondsey Project/CRISIS, London, United Kingdom 17 July – 6 September. Stitching the Sea. Artists include: Seve Faleupolu Gooding, Sione Falemaka, Greg Semu, Angela Tiatia, Julie Wharerau, Samoan Senior Citizens, Pearls of the Pacific, Mount Druitt, Tongan Tapa Makers, Maori Weavers. Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia 17 July – 30 November. Undressing the Pacific: MidCareer Survey 2000 - 2013. Shigeyuki Kihara, Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, Palmerston North 25 July – 23 August.Tau Tupua: The Spirits. Robert George, Vela Manusaute and Toa Taihia. Fresh Gallery, Otara, Auckland South 27 July – 13 August. Quite Contrary. Selina Woulfe Jewellery Box, Masterworks Gallery, 71 Upper Queen Street, Auckland
1 – 25 August. Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. Includes I AM Lemi Ponifasio and MAU, Pasifika theatre group Kila Kokonu Krew with The Factory, Black Grace, Black Faggot by Victor Rodger, and Niu Navigations. Various venues, Edinburgh, Scotland https://www.edfringe.com/ 3 August – 10 September. Between the Lines. Emily Mafile’o, Vea Mafile’o, Dagmar Dyck. Northart gallery, North Shore, Auckland 5 – 16 August. The Tautai of Digital Winds. Written by Iaheto Ah Hi. Mangere Arts Centre. Mangere, Auckland South 8 August – 1 December. It’s Love, Isn’t It? Sarah Jane-Parton. Courtenay Place Light boxes, Courtenay Place, Wellington 12 August 5.30pm. The Art of Excavation. Book launch. Leilani Tamu. Fale Pasifika, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland 12 August – 5 September. Tino i le va - Bodies in the Space. Artists include: Greg Semu and Angela Tiatia. Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia 13 – 17 August. Alcaston Gallery at Melbourne Art Fair 2014. Artists include Greg Semu and Angela Tiatia, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne 16 August – 16 November. Sleight of Hand. Artists include Graham Fletcher. Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin 28 August – 4 October. Tauhiva: The Art of Socio-spatial relations. Contemporary Tongan artists, including members of No’o Fakataha. Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland South 11 September – 31 October. Daegu Biennale. Shigeyuki Kihara. Daegu Culture and Arts Center, South Korea 12 September – 19 October. Fragrance, extinction and dreams. John Pule. Corban Estate Arts Centre, West Auckland
watch the Tautai Website and the Pacific Arts Diary emails for news of upcoming events and exhibitions
www.tautai.org Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust receives major public funding from Creative New Zealand and also receives significant funding from ASB Community Trust
and generous support from our Fetu Ta’i donors Rose and John Dunn • Adrian Burr and Peter Tatham • Art + Object • Ema Aitken and David Galler • Kriselle Baker and Richard Douglas • Ben Bergman • Rosey Brown and Graham Wall • Sherry and Gary Butler • Jenny and Rick Carlyon • Joanna and John Chaplin • Virginia and Stephen Fisher • Antonia Fisher and Stuart Grieve • Kristen Flannery and Greg Moyle• Jason Friedlander and Aaron Tindell • Jo and Terry Gould • Jo and John Gow • Josephine and Ross Green • Cathy and Michael Hapgood • Anne and Peter Hinton • Geri and Richard Martin • Kathy and Bill Peake • Fran and Geoff Ricketts • Jenny and Andrew Smith • Karen Spires and John Harman • Kit and Pip Toogood