BROWN ABOUT TOWN // Recently…

(L-R: John Ioane, Ema Tavola, MP Carmel Sepuloni, Jim Vivieaere and Aaron Taouma)

Supporting MP Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand’s first member of Parliament of Tongan descent. Her campaign against Paula Bennett for Waitakere in 2011 should be exciting! Carmel has strong support from the Pacific arts community.

Members of the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Committee at the 2010 Arts Pasifika Awards, Wellington (November 2010): Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann (Samoa), Rev. Suamalie Iosefa (Tuvalu), Frances Hartnell (Cook Islands), Pele Walker (Chair), Ema Tavola (Fiji), Matafetu Smith (Niue) and Taniela Vao (Tonga).

My beautiful new Gary Lee work, Shaba as Billiamook. Thank you Gary! Fresh Gallery Otara is hosting Australian photographer, Gary Lee’s first international exhibition in May 2011 to celebrate the Gallery’s 5th Anniversary and the 2nd Manukau Pacific Arts Summit!

(L-R: Czarina Wilson, Ema Tavola, J Boog, Leilani Kake)

The hugely successful NiuFM Mixer Gig in Manukau City brought an incredible line-up of international Pacific reggae musicians to South Auckland including J Boog, George FIJI Veikoso, The Hot Rain Band, Kiwini + Siaosi… it was the best concert I’ve ever been to in New Zealand!

(L-R: Nicole Lim, Melissa Cole, Tanu Gago, Nigel Borell, Leilani Kake)

Manukau-based Samoan film-maker, Tanu Gago showed his first gallery-based work, YOU LOVE MY FRESH – a 3-channel video installation, at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts which opened in September attracting a wide community of supporters. YOU LOVE MY FRESH runs until 12 December 2010. Read an interesting review of by John Hurrell on EyeContact here.

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Hand Made Exhibition // DRAWING SOUTH AUCKLAND

DRAWING SOUTH AUCKLAND was a user-generated drawing installation that was developed at Fresh Gallery Otara over three weeks in November 2010. The gallery’s community was invited to make drawings to be part of a constantly evolving mural-in-pieces. It stands as a fascinating insight into the lives and times of the community surrounding Fresh Gallery Otara. Over 400 drawings were made with over 300 installed on the Gallery’s walls. Censorship applied to explicit gang associated and/or pornographic/offensive imagery and tagging.

Some of my favourite drawings:


This is one of many drawings by Fa’a, he’s 11 years old and goes to St John The Evangelist School in Otara.


Unknown artist.


Tanu Gago contributed some Jerry The Fa’afafine


Unknown artist.

Click here for a full album of photographic documentation of DRAWING SOUTH AUCKLAND

Click here to follow Fresh Gallery Otara on Twitter

Leilani Kake + Tanu Gago // Tagata Pasifika

TVNZ’s weekly Pacific Island affairs programme, Tagata Pasifika aired this story about two artists I work closely with, Leilani Kake and Tanu Gago on 18 November 2010. At the time, Leilani was showing her 2010 video work, Kia Ora 2 Kia Orana in manu toi; artists and messengers curated by Nigel Borell for Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, and Tanu’s solo, YOU LOVE MY FRESH was showing at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga.

YOU LOVE MY FRESH has been extended one week and now will be shown until 12 December 2010.

Next year, Tanu is involved in a group exhibition curated by Reuben Friend for Deane Gallery, City Gallery Wellington opening in January. I am curating Leilani’s next solo exhibition, Nga Hau E Wha – The Four Winds – a four-channel video installation at Fresh Gallery Otara for the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival in March.

Leilani and I are trying to generate funds to participate in the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania Symposium in Hawai’i in February. We have proposed to discuss the construction and context of Nga Hau E Wha – The Four Winds in a session entitled, Refashioning the Body: Building Critical Theory Across the Pacific. A 2011 Colour Me Fiji fundraising T-shirt is in production!

four-oh-two-hundred-fifty-thousand

My first post on Colour Me Fiji was on 29 November 2006. I’ve just reached 50,000 hits and this is my 200th post. It has been an eventful 4 years! The blog has been a resource for lots of Pacific art happenings… for critique and outrage, love and loss. It has been mentioned in Art Monthly Australia and various ArtAsiaPacific Almanacs. The page on my village, Dravuni, has been widely clicked and inspired my father to start a blog about our beautiful island in the northern Kadavu group, http://kaidravuni.wordpress.com

Comments and feedback, opportunities and references from Colour Me Fiji have been really important to me… vinaka vakalevu.

New Tattoo by Joe Brown // Nesian Tattoo (Mangere)

Am seemingly addicted to getting tattooed. Most recent piece is by Mangere-based Samoan tattooist, Joe Brown, whose space, Nesian Tattoo on Kirkbride Road always inspires me.

Joe added to and extended a tattoo I’ve had on my back for ten years connecting it to the two recent kingfishers I had tattooed on my hips.

Even in my fourteenth tattoo session, it still hurts.

But I love my new Joe Brown tattoo.