<p>Exhibition artists in front of <em>Aotearoa</em>, by Jodi Naik.&nbsp;</p>

Exhibition artists in front of Aotearoa, by Jodi Naik. 

Exhibition

19 May — 30 May 2022

Lalaga Pasifika

Four local Pasifika visual artists reflect the community, culture and conversations of the Pacific.

Lalaga Pasifika presented a one-day celebration of Pacific arts and culture at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre on Saturday 28 May 2022. Alongside the event the Gallery’s Curator, Pasifika Public Programmes, showcased four local Pasifika visual artists whose work reflected the community and the conversations.

Lalaga Pasifika - the exhibition - presented work by Amy SaoTui-Huta Fale Sao, Jodi Naik, Sean Hill, and Suzan Kostanich.

Amy Sao Tui-Huta Fale Sao is a contemporary Pasifika artist from Taranaki, Aotearoa-born of Samoan descent. Amy works with her feelings, weaving these into stories representing physical and spiritual dimensions, selfgrowth, and learning and evolving through life on earth. Tui 2022 (collection of Rosabel Tan, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland) is about the artist’s father, Fale Sao Tui. Representing Aotearoa through the use of native timber, this work uses rimu – a tree which stands tall and strong, has a spiritual presence amongst the forest, and protects surrounding fauna - a representation of ancestral strength and carrying presence and knowledge on our journey on earth. The technique used to transfer designs onto the wooden panels is inspired by the traditional Samoan Tatau (tattoo).

Jodi Naik was born in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is of Māori (Ngati Maniapoto), English, Samoan, and Indian descent. Her work Aotearoa was influenced by Te Ao Marama (the natural world) and animals, and the connection to the natural world is central to her creativity and well-being. Jodi’s grandmother Anna Fanene was born in the village of Afega, Samoaand moved to New Zealand with her family in 1952 on the Tofua to have a better life, settling in Herne Bay.

Sean Hill’s O M Ĕ Ģ Ä, 2022 extend the artists series of colour and shape studies - simple yet complex ways of analysing, interpreting and creating deviations of reality within colours and shapes. Of Samoan and Aotearoa New Zealand descent Sean is a painter of outdoor and community murals, and a clothing and digital designer who frequently references his own #colourandshapestudies within each artwork. Sean captures influences from nature - the abundance of gradient colours within flowers and plants, vibrant blue when the sun hits the ocean and sunsets that make our curiosity sparkle seeing different colours in and around the clouds above us.

Tanoa fai’ava, 2022, by Taranaki-based multimedia textile artist Suzan Kostanich, encompasses forty years of exploration in this field. Over this period Suzan has explored many disciplines within the textile field, receiving awards and commendations for her work both here and in Australia. Her current work explores feltmaking using wool fibres, kozo paper, tapa cloth and other natural fibres. The raw item is then hand dyed, painted, and stitched to produce both 2- and 3D items. Suzan’s work references and explores her recently-rediscovered Pacific heritage.