New work: Regionalism (2009)

Regionalism [2009]
Textile assemblage
770 x 1710mm
For Pan Pacific Nation [3-28 March 2009], Marks Garage, Honolulu

Modelled by Samiu Napa’a

“Sulu are ‘protective’ in the sense of enabling island converts to sustain ancestral imagery whilst maintaining an outward show of moral conformity”

Chloe Colchester
‘Objects of Conversions: Concerning the transfer of Sulu to Fiji’
The Art of Clothing: A Pacific Experience
UCL Press, London (2005)

Koloa et al: Your Art is my Treasure

Curated by Charmaine ‘Ilaiu + Nina Tonga
Featuring members of Mo’ui  ‘Aonga Tongan Cultural Centre


OPENING: 6-8pm, Thursday 19 February
EXHIBITION DATES: 20 February – 14 March


As part of the 2009 Celebrate Pasifika festival Fresh Gallery Otara presents an exhibition of the Tongan women’s textile art form ‘koloa’.

Charmaine ‘Ilaiu and Nina Tonga have curated an exhibition that explores and celebrates the work of Tongan women in the community. They’ve discovered that for many Tongan women, koloa is not seen as art; rather it is a way of life.

Working closely with members of the Tongan women’s collective Mo’ui aonga Tongan Cultural Centre based in Otahuhu, co-curator Charmaine ‘Ilaiu says it’s been a very collaborative approach with everyone contributing their ideas.

Charmaine believes the final result is an inspiring installation piece, something that hasn’t been exhibited before.

“At first the women were quite hesitant and unsure of what a gallery space would do for their koloa. But now they’ve embraced the project and are really keen to show their work to the wider community.”

Koloa (cultural wealth) is a term that can include a range of textile forms and creative processes: ngatu, or bark cloth; fala, or woven mats and monomono, or quilt-making. The use of new materials and techniques proves that Tongan koloa is not a dying custom, but continues to thrive as older women pass on their skills to the younger generation.

Koloa et al: Your Art is my Treasure will transform the gallery space in the customary manner of Tongan teuteu, or preparatory adornment. A curators’ floor talk and koloa demonstration will be held on Saturday, 7 March at 12 noon.

Another Celebrate Pasifika festival event is The Margin’s Cutting Edge by young Samoan artist Theodore Ah Wong on show at The Gallery, Nathan Homestead in Manurewa until 22 March.

In this solo exhibition Theodore uses techniques of cutting away paint and canvas to create his paintings along with striking furniture and design pieces.

The Margin’s Cutting Edge runs from 27 February to 22 March. Nathan Homestead is open Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1-4pm. It is located at 70 Hill Road, Manurewa, Manukau City.

For Fiji, Ever Fiji – update

The new sexy catalogue for the exhibition, For Fiji, Ever Fiji is now available exclusively at Fresh Gallery Otara.

Photos from the exhibition can be viewed here

Luisa Tora’s short film, The Homecoming will be featured in OFF STAGE – a night of live and meditated performance and video works organised by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust in partnership with the Media and Interdisciplinarary Arts Centre (MIC). OFF STAGE takes place on Friday 27 February at Galatos, 17 Galatos Street, Auckland City. Contact Tautai Trust for more information (09) 376 1665

Still from The Homecoming by Luisa Tora

OFF STAGE features in the Auckland Fringe Festival of AK09, Auckland’s arts festival from 5-22 March.

Congratulations to Margaret Aull for selling her beautiful mixed media work on Totara. It will be going to a beautiful Auckland private collection.