Category Archives: Art
Y’all know the tagline for this blog is ‘Decolonising my mind’. Well I just came across – and was reminded of – this work by my beautiful sister in law, Torika Bolatagici:
Torika is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne where she teaches contemporary theory and practice. Her PhD ‘Somatic Sotia: Commodity, Agency and the Fijian Military Body’ was recently submitted for examination at the School of Art and Design, University of New South Wales.
Torika works across a range of media, including photography, video and mixed media site-specific installation. Her interdisciplinary practice investigates the relationship between visual culture, human ecology, postcolonial counternarrative and visual historiography of the Black Pacific. She is interested in exploring the tensions and intersections between gender, embodied knowledge, commodification, migration and globalization.
Her work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Yogyakarta and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences and symposia about the representation of mixed-race identity; Pacific arts practice in Australia and Fiji; representations of teachers and teaching in cinema; and gender and militarism in the Pacific.
More on Torika and her work HERE.
Mood going into 2017 🙂 Listen to the words:
Some more words from the great one Herself:
Its been proved time and time again that a hero was always reluctant of their gift within.
The only difference with myself as an artist now and my audience is I’ve tapped into my strength.
In a year I went from audience to artist.
Solely because of embracing what makes me…. me.
HERoes is about finding the hero within.
The true gift and talents of oneself and nurturing the hero that is already there.
Wear your cape.
A few of my posts so far up on the Stella Mag blog:
Jennifer Baing-Waiko has channelled her passion for preserving traditional food systems knowledge into a fantastic new show ‘Cafe Niugini’.
Julia Mage’au Gray reflects on the joys & challenges of reviving & protecting traditional tattoo designs in a globalised world.
PNG-Australian artist & educator Ella Benore Rowe invites you to explore identity & healing through her mask making workshops.
Childbirth death is still alarmingly high in PNG. Today we look at one way we can improve maternal care for our mothers.
As Managing Director of GiDi Creative, Papua New Guinean-Austrian entrepreneur Grace Dlabik is using her talents for social good.
I will post some substantial essays here on ‘Just the Messenger‘ soon. Nothing much to report right now: writing, screenwriting, learning and living simply, as usual.
I hope you are well.
Hey look at this – the first post of the year! Hope you are well 🙂
Just writing, screenwriting and working in (arts) communications & publishing this year – which affords me time to tinker with organic and simple living (really my main hobby, other than ‘Whatsapp’-ing with my enormous family in PNG) and to prioritise nurturing my health. I am also now considering pursuing a gender research opportunity – specifically, I am considering whether I can bring something of worth to this particular task.
Anyway. Just wanted to share a couple of things to kick off this blogging thing for 2015.
‘SISTERS FOR WEST PAPUA’ IN ISSUE 13 STELLA – ON SALE NOW!
As mentioned late last year, I wrote a 6-page feature article on Nattali Rize, Petra Rumwaropen and Lea Rumwaropen for the latest ‘Entertainment‘ issue of Stella Magazine (it’s the cover story for this issue) – which features fantastic articles on some amazing talent coming out of the Pacific! Here are some words from the Editor:
“If we’ve learnt anything from this issue, it’s that we love to entertain. And with the region brimming with so much talent, we are excited to share the stories of some of the most flexible, resilient and inspiring entertainers of 2014.
In this issue, meet the artists who’ve established unique voices in Australia, New York City, Israel, Fiji, and Tahiti. Working in music, film, literature, fashion, and dance, these artists share an interest, not in fame and fortune, but for social reform and social justice.
As much as we like to be a source of positive media for the Pacific Islands, injustice and exploitation is an ongoing challenge for us as we strive to decolonise our lands and our minds.
With our Pacific Youth being anything but pacified, we are excited to announce the launch of the Stella Pacific Writing Prize, a chance to make some noise about something you care about.”
There is also within this issue a little contributor profile on me, in which I admit to enjoying Katy Perry. If all this doesn’t convince you to SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE BY CLICKING HERE, I don’t know what will.
Check out the strong cover for Issue 13 HERE.
CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC ARTS FESTIVAL 2015: ‘OCEANIA NOW’
The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) this year will be held from 9-11th April 2015, with workshops being run during March and visual arts exhibitions running until May!
CPAF 2015 will explore the spiritual, physical, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary Pacific identity – situated in the present, the medium between honouring the past and authoring the future. Oceania Now. A space of pure potentiality and agency.
Stay tuned to the CPAF site for updates and ticketing information for workshops and the Symposium. This years festival will include:
5 different Art and Creative Workshops. Including Pacific Photobook Project, Bilum Weaving with Vicki Kinai, Pacific Bling Weaving Workshops, Pacific Fashion Runway Workshop, and Hula Fitness Workshops.
Community Day. Featuring a FREE concert headlined by Radical Son, Children’s Area (a creative village for children and young people with workshops and activities running throughout the day), face painting with artist Ella Benore Rowe, the Craft and Weaving Tent (with Sounds of Polynesia), Interactive Art with Naup Waup (Naup will create work and display his own creations, as well as cultural artefacts from Papua New Guinea), and the Pasifika Fashion Parade featuring participants from the two day Pacific Fashion Runway workshop. There will also be a marketplace with stalls selling a variety of goods.
Traditional Tattooing with Julia Megeau Gray. She’ll be an artist in residence over the three days of CPAF (including Community Day) to demonstrate live tattooing. Julia will be working on individual pieces, and will be available to work on people at FCAC on the 9-11 April.
Woodcarving demonstration with Fono McCarthy. This carver and multi-disciplinary Samoan artist will create an 8ft free standing responsive sculptural work made of native wood titled ‘Gafa Fa’avae’ over 3 days of the CPAF festivities – the work will be completed during the CPAF Community Day.
‘Resonance’ Exhibition. Curated by Chuck Feesago, and featuring work by Naup Waup, Cecilia Kavara Verran, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Kirsten Lyttle, Chantal Fraser, Chuck Feesago, Leuli Eshraghi, Anna Crawley, Eric Bridgeman.
‘Construction Piece Scores’ Exhibition. CPAF Artist in Residence Ann Fuata will collaboratively develop a work based on ancient intercontinental ocean floor highways that are thought to stretch across the entire Pacific Ocean.
Fiafia Bar – The Festival Bar. 6pm-10pm for the three days of the festival. Step into the Fiafia Festival Bar and witness a Pacific collision of island culture, dance, song, circus and all flavours of contemporary entertainment.
CPAF Symposium. 9-10th April. 25 speakers, 6 chair persons, the PK-CPAF presenters and our keynote speaker Ema Tavola will be progressing a lively and focused discussion on issues relevant to contemporary Pacific arts practice in both an Australian and international context.
I’m looking forward to seeing Stella Magazine Editor Amanda Donigi chair the panel ‘Entrepreneurialism in Pacific Arts’.
A two-day pass or one-day passes are available. To book your place in the audience, CLICK HERE.
And stay in the loop by liking Stella Magazine on Facebook here.
After a year-long article writing hiatus, I wrote a piece for the next issue of Stella Magazine, Issue 13 – a profile on Nattali Rize, Petra Rumwaropen and Lea Rumwaropen of the band Blue King Brown, and their relationship to the struggle for human rights in West Papua. Blue King Brown use their music to raise awareness in their audiences about the cause – a very personal one for the Rumwaropen sisters, who came to Australia as political refugees.
In addition, all three women live their politics and values in their day-today lives. We talked music, family, faith, the magic of performance, global resistance and freedom. It was a pleasure to interview them.
So make sure you grab a copy of that one too 🙂
It’s been a while since I posted on Stella Magazine – publication went on hiatus for personal reasons, but publishing has resumed and Issue 11 is on sale now – covergirl is Naomi Bukalidi!
List of stockists here.
Online subscriptions are available for residents in PNG, Australia, New Zealand, Asia/Pacific and the Rest of the World.
Subscribe here for your chance to WIN.
And stay in the loop by liking Stella Magazine on Facebook here.
Previous issue’s cover – Issue 10:
A little video reminder for all unassuming autodidacts focused on elevated creativity, and the unsteady life that comes with such an obsession: play the long game.
Coincidently, I stumbled upon this video essay from Delve just before my 30th birthday (it has two parts – they aren’t long).
I quite liked it – although I would never call someone a “loser” – let alone DaVinci.
It’s all about the process, after all… remember that. This is how you will stay true to your centre.
The Long Game Part 1
The Long Game Part 2
Wishing you the freest of minds 🙂
CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC ARTS FESTIVAL 2014 SYMPOSIUM
REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN
When: 21 March, 9:00am – 5:30pm Where: FCAC Basement Theatre
Registration: $20 – waged/ $10 unwaged/conc. Includes refreshments and a copy of the publication Mana Motu.
The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium will bring together creative practitioners, community elders, academics and arts industry professionals whose work engages with the contemporary Pacific. Confirmed speakers: Ruth McDougall, Dion Peita, Lisa Hilli, Latai Taumoepeau, Michael Kisombo, JD Mittman, Yvonne Carrillo‐Huffman, Lea Rumwaropen, Taloi Havini, Thelma Thomas, David Siliga Setoga, Mandy Treagus, Keren Ruki, Julia Mageau Gray, Angela Tiatia, Salote Tawale.
Mini program is available here [opens pdf]: SYMPOSIUM_MINI_PROGRAM
Annual Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival returns to Footscray Community Arts Centre in March 2014.
Presented in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre and CPAF, the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary showcase of the creative talents of the Australian contemporary Pacific arts community. Throughout the month of March, creative workshops and exhibitions are being held across various Melbourne locations, with the two-day main festival event and Symposium taking place at the Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC). All are invited to experience the distinct stories and art of the Pacific diaspora in Melbourne.
When: 21 March, 9:00am – 5:30pm Where: FCAC Basement Theatre
The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium will bring together creative practitioners, community elders, academics and arts industry professionals whose work engages with the contemporary Pacific. Confirmed speakers include: Ruth McDougall, Dion Peita, Lisa Hilli, Latai Taumoepeau, Michael Kisombo, JD Mittman, Yvonne Carrillo‐Huffman, Lea Rumwaropen, Taloi Havini, Thelma Thomas, David Siliga Setoga, Mandy Treagus, Keren Ruki, Julia Mageau Gray, Angela Tiatia, Salote Tawale.
When: 21 March, 6:00pm-9:00pm Where: FCAC Roslyn Smorgon Gallery
Opening night will feature stirring performances from multi-disciplinary artist SistaNative (Seini Taumoepeau), contemporary Maori Dance troupe Toi Haka, and Samoan Dance troupe Tama Tatau, and the opening of art exhibitions Out of Sequence, Rize Of The Morning Star Photographic Exhibition, Bung Long Paia Ples and the Pasifika Youth Exhibition. Hospitality will be provided by the West Papuan community.
When: 22 March from 11.00am Where: FCAC
The Community Day will feature creative workshops for all ages, market and food stalls. Following a Pacific Welcome Ceremony, a performance stage by the Maribyrnong River will be the site for a FREE CONCERT featuring:
- Rize of the Morning Star
- Te Hononga O Nga Iwi
- Nuholani and Mother of Pearl performers
- Lisa Fa’alafi
- Cocoa Jackson Lane
- Tama Tatau
- SistaNative (Emcee)
The extensive creative workshops program will include Niuean Weaving, Maori Weaving, Log Drumming, Oration, Hula, Ukelele, Print Making, Headdress Making and children’s activities. There will also be a Reading Room and Photo Booth open to the public.
When: three Tuesdays – 4, 11 & 18 March, 6:00pm-9:00pm Where: FCAC Jack Kennedy Room
Master Bilum Weaver Vicki Kinai will deliver a series of three workshops over February/March that have been developed by Vicki to teach the ancient technique of Bilums. Over the course of the workshops participants will learn how to roll their own rope and construct their very own Bilum!! Vicki Kinai is a Melbourne-based Fibre Artist, Melanesian Languages and Cultural Trainer, Exhibitor, Performer and Teacher. She hails from the village of Pitwa, located Southeast of Mt. Hagen town in Papua New Guinea. BOOK HERE.
MOTHER OF PEARL
When: four Tuesdays – 25 February, 4, 11 & 18 March, 6:00pm-9:00pm Where: FCAC Basement Theatre
‘Mother of Pearl ’ is an inter-generational dance and weaving project for Pacific daughters of all ages. A safe, fun and engaging space for women and their daughters to gather, learn and exchange cultural knowledges. Learn a dance routine and how to weave your own costumes with Pacific workshop facilitators Fipe Keanu (Dance), Tiffany Le Nevez (Dance) and Kui Taukilo (Weaver). Hard core laughter and mega fun is guaranteed!. Drawing on the strengths of Pacific oral traditions ‘Mother of Pearl’ is designed to bring together mamas and daughters, including mothers with daughters of Pacific heritage, in a shared and uplifting learning space. The workshops will culminate in a short performance alongside Tahitian/Hawaiian Dance Troupe ‘Nuholani‘ as part of the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festivals’ Community Day event Saturday 22nd March. BOOK HERE.
PACIFIC ART YOUTH WORKSHOPS
When: two Tuesdays – 25 February, 11 March, 6:00pm-9:00pm Where: FCAC Artlife Studio
CPAF are offering a series of Pacific youth-focused workshops that will be delivered throughout February and March. Participants will learn about the cultural significance of traditional Pacific motifs and how contemporary artists draw on their heritage and will be encouraged to create works that will be displayed as part of the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival at Footscray Community Arts Centre. Workshops will be targeted at young people with Pacific Islander heritage and will engage participants in processes that blend popular contemporary art techniques including stenciling, paste-up street art, mask & headdress making and print making. All workshops will be delivered by artists of Pacific Islander heritage who bring their expertise and cultural knowledge to provide opportunities for participants to include culturally specific motifs and design into their final product. BOOK HERE.
FONOFALE [meeting house]
When: 12 March, 6.30-8.30pm Where: Wyndham Art Gallery, 177 Watton St, Werribee.
This Solo Exhibition by Fono McCarthy will consist of an installation of lightweight vessels [or barges] made from wood that gives a sense of flight, float and travel, they reference a symbol of activating the VA [space] representing the core principle in which these barges activate and transport knowledge. Special Performance by Grace Vanilau. More information HERE.
A CIRCLE TO WEAVE IN
When: 27 March, 6.30-830pm Where: Blak Dot Gallery, 413 Lygon St, East Brunswick.
Curated by Grace Vanilau and Jacob Tolo – ‘A Circle to Weave In’ (ACTWI)- brings together 3 highly respected Pacific weavers (using traditional and contemporary techniques) and a Pacific multi-media artist in a cross-disciplinary exploration of traditional craft and digital experimentation. Several workshops, held at Blak Dot gallery, leading up to the exhibition will be open to all wishing to learn traditional weaving. More information HERE.
LEI MAKING WORKSHOPS
When: two Saturdays – 8 & 15 March Where: Blak Dot Gallery, 413 Lygon St, East Brunswick.
Lei making carries not only a blessing and tangible beauty, but also represents the giving of time and love as each one is hand-woven with care. Four Weaving Facilitators of Pacific heritage will offer participants the opportunity to learn 4 different adaptations of Lei’s, drawing on traditional Pacific weaving techniques. Workshop participants are welcome to contribute to a Lei wall installation as part of ‘A Circle to Weave In’ exhibition. The launch will be on the 27th March 2014. BOOK HERE.
PACIFIC PATTERN AND PORTRAITURE
When: three Saturdays – 1, 8 & 15 March Where: SIGNAL, Flinders Walk, Melbourne.
A FREE visual arts project for young Melbourne Pacific Islanders aged between 13-21 years. Participants will learn skills in stencil, visual art, camera operation and photoshop with Pacific Islander Artists. @ Signal, Flinders Walk, Northbank, Melbourne VIC 3001. Behind Flinders St Station towards Sandridge Bridge. BOOK HERE.
The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 2014 is supported by Arts Victoria, Victorian Multicultural Commission, Maribyrnong City Council, Blak Dot Gallery, Signal, City of Melbourne, Rize of the Morning Star, Victoria Maori Wardens, and Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund.
For the full Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival program – including workshops, visual art exhibitions, satellite events and bookings, please visit: