(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.

Gary Lee and Me

Meeting Australian photographer, Gary Lee was the highlight of my time in Rarotonga. I have had a special love affair with Lee’s work since I bought the 2005 issue of Artlink with his image, Shaba on the front cover. Working with Samoan filmmaker and emerging artist Tanu Gago, we have discussed Lee’s work at length in recent months.

Nigel Borell, Ema Tavola, Maurice O'Riordan and Dan Taulapapa McMullin

The August 2010 issue of Art Monthly Australia, themed ‘OzPasifika’, was launched on Tuesday 10 August at BCA Gallery to coincide with the opening of TOP16 a solo exhibition by Janet Lilo curated by Ron Brownson. It’s an excellent issue that feels very special, including great profiles of Torika Bolatagici, Lisa Hili, Chantal Fraser, Maryann Talia Pau and Eric Bridgeman. It’s refreshing to see another Australasian art publication providing space  for Pacific and indigenous writing and response.

On my knees begging for a show!

Gary Lee, you so rocked my world!

Lunchtime Poetry Slam // Otara

Our Lunchtime Poetry Slam was wicked wicked excellent on Tuesday 4 May…

Thanks to the British Council, UK poet, producer, DJ.. Charlie Dark joined five Pasifika poets on the Centre Stage of the Otara Town Centre for an hour of poetic deliciousness…

Yolande Ah Chong is the best MC a Pacific Arts Summit could ask for!

Courtney Meredith bought her smoothness…

Charlie Dark was too cool…

Luisa Tora of the Niu Waves Writers Collective [Fiji] performed in Aotearoa for the first time!

The multi-skilled Ole Maiava.. aka Pasifika Festival Director!

All the poets: [L-R] Luisa Tora, Courtney Meredith, Drew Harding, Charlie Dark, Monica Cheung and Ole Maiava // super super cool… thank you all so much! It was an excellent event!

Featured on TV3 Nightline on Tuesday 4 May, a full interview with Charlie Dark can be seen here and a story on Radio New Zealand’s Tagata o te Moana show by Leilani Momoisea can be heard here

Far North

A watery weekend in the Far North…

A whale vertebrae at Bevis’ workshop, Kaeo in the Far North… inspired… to tattoo this…

My first time meeting the Hokianga harbour…

Unfortunately my Mitsubishi Libero met her maker in Ruakaka…

But we still made it to Pupuke for a beautiful two days with my girl Yazma Smith, who is amazing.


Death is Inevitable (2008)

Janet and I went to Wellington for the re-opening of the City Gallery with an amazing huge exhibition by Yayoi Kusama, and in the small but present Deane Gallery, a solo exhibition by Ngaahina Hohoia.. fabulous.

We dressed in full colour!