“This Must Be The Place” curated by Jeremy Leatinu’u

Untitled (Tuiga) by Aaron Unasa
Constructed with found objects

Some works stood out for me at the annual Tautai Trust tertiary students exhibition at Auckland’s St Paul St Gallery. The exhibition, This Must Be The Place has been curated by Samoan performance artist and educator, Jeremy Leatinu’u. It feels like a tight show, almost educational – I liked it a lot more than past tertiary student exhibitions.

Since my first trip to Samoa in 2010, I have been fascinated with tuiga (ceremonial head dress) and have wanted to curate an exhibition of tuiga in their various forms. I really enjoyed Aaron Unasa’s tuiga made from found objects.

Untitled (Nifo’oti), Aaron Unasa

I like reading rooms / reading tables, but I was disappointed that Alana Lopesi didn’t show the work she had posted on her blog. It felt like a bold statement about the current exhibition Home AKL at Auckland Art Gallery – Pacific artists making critical commentary about the world around them excite me. But I’m definitely watching Lopesi’s practice as it develops.

The exhibition is up until Friday 27 July – check it out.

 

Jordan Souza // Aotearoa

Hawaiian visual artist and tattooist Jordan Souza came to Auckland as the Tautai Trust 2010 Artist in Residence in March. The focus of the residency is networking and developing professional relationships. It was excellent spending time with Jordan, introducing him to Auckland-based Pacific artists and especially learning more about tattooing. He spent a month with my housemate Tanu Gago and I, spending days and nights talking art, tattooing, Hawaii… travel and music… and tattooing… lots of friends! Thank you Jordan, we will all remember you for the rest of our lives!

Jordan designed this custom piece in collaboration with Tanu, nine flowers represent his nine sisters.

After I tattooed a banana leaf outline on my left thigh, Jordan finished it off

Jordan met Monty Collins, Mangere-based graphic designer at Fresh Gallery Otara.

He added to Monty’s extensive sleeve and chest pieces with a Marquesian inspired chest/side piece.

We were all feeling Monty’s pain… but it looked so mean when it was finished!

My beautiful friend Melissa loves her new chrysanthemum tattoo.

Multimedia artist and story-teller, Nia-val Ngaro had a design in mind taken from the prow of a Cook Islands canoe.

This was a beautiful pre-wedding treat for Nia-val.

This custom piece was made for Samoan musician Quincy Ray Filiga.

Jordan tattooed two matching secala / kingfishers on my hips, which I love. The secala /kingfisher is the totem bird from my village Dravuni, in Kadavu, Fiji. The image is based on a kingfisher from the Nice Work stationery range, re-drawn by Monty Collins.

Encouraged to make an experimental video work for the Tautai event, Off Stage, Jordan collaborated with Tanu Gago to make this quick video, offering a passer-by on Karangahape Road a free tattoo!

More photos from Jordan Souza’s stay

Jordan Souza’s art website