“Pacific Art” (2006)

This work was made for the exhibition, What’s Going On at Fresh Gallery Otara (October/November 2006). Newspaper and canvas are the base of the words “Pacific Art”, which has then been sealed with epoxy resin. This work has recently been bought by Manukau City Council for the City Art Collection and is on display at the Manurewa Community Advisor’s office, Southmall, Manurewa, Manukau City.

I have often used newspapers such as the New Zealand Herald as representative of dominant [Pakeha] culture in New Zealand. This work is about what and who might define what is “Pacific Art” responding to experiences of making art which does not include Pacific identity markers such as flowers and ‘tapa’ motifs, and is questioned as to whether it is really “Pacific Art”. It references the politics of being a cultural other on the margins of the power-base of New Zealand, and Marcel Duchamp’s “This is not a pipe” approach to art making.