Posts from the ‘Talks and Workshops’ category


2 GIRLS 1 CONFERENCE is the name a fundraising campaign to support Leilani Kake and I to travel to Vancouver, Canada to present papers at the Pacific Arts Association (PAA) 11th International Symposium.

The theme of the event is, Pacific Intersections and cross currents: uncharted histories and future trends. The PAA regards their gatherings as opportunities for contemporary artists, cultural leaders, historians, museum and gallery curators, researchers, and collectors to engage in lively and creative dialogue in the spirit of true enquiry.

We have presented before with the PAA, and in 2010 travelled to Rarotonga, Cook Islands to participate in the 10th International Symposium. This year Leilani has proposed to discuss her video installation practice in the context of recent research into intercultural identities. I’ve been invited to contribute to a panel entitled, “Curating Pacific Spaces: The New School of Contemporary Pacific Art from New Zealand”.

Having collaborated on international travel, lecture tours, exhibitions and events since 2004, we have built our *award-winning* art practices on strong networking, bold advocacy, a genuine sense of service to our communities and lots of love, sweat and tears! In the past we have attracted support from a wide range of organisations for our collaborative endeavours, but this year we have both returned to full-time tertiary study and arts-related funding for various reasons has been out of reach.

Therefore, we’re fundraising with all our energies to get to Canada and proudly represent our communities. Funds raised will support airfares and accommodation. We have three fundraising initiatives:

  • A campaign on New Zealand’s premier crowdfunding platform, PledgeMe
  • A pretty amazing art auction featuring work by some excellent artists who all lovingly support our cause
  • A limited edition art t-shirt created in collaboration with Tepora Malo, a promising young artist studying to complete a Bachelor of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Arts in Otara, South Auckland

2 GIRLS 1 CONFERENCE is our all or nothing effort to get Pacific art and South Auckland on the PAA radar.

The campaign goes live on Sunday 26 May – a heartfelt acknowledgment of Fresh Gallery Otara’s 7th anniversary, a timeframe that had been historically marked with poignant locally inspired exhibitions, hearty celebration and the opening of the annual Pacific Arts Summit (between 2010-2012)… until this year. Leilani and I want to recognise the humble beginnings of this important South Auckland arts hub with a reminder of the original kaupapa – to generate awareness and engagement with South Auckland’s unique cultural landscape.

On Sunday 26 May, our PledgeMe campaign goes *live* and our efforts to hustle and share to the best of our abilities will go into overdrive!

Whilst we are two individuals travelling to one conference, we represent a community of hard-working artists and the massive interconnected network of Pacific people who sustain and inform them. Our participation is about representing our collectives, making South Auckland visible and engaging new audiences with our vibrant and unique arts and culture.

I’m developing a workshop at the moment about creating online platforms for art and arts promotion.

I don’t consider myself an expert in this field, but I’ve been blogging, tagging and engineering an online presence for my work and interests consistently since 2006. These self-published online efforts have created opportunities and enabled exposure for issues and artists; they have been my soapbox and at times a therapeutic outlet. I’ve run into trouble on almost every platform – offending people and exposing issues. It’s at these times that I am forced to reflect on my character, perceptions, responsibilities and the purpose of my communication. It has been these instances that have also galvanized my position and ideas.

I deactivated my personal Facebook account in 2010. At that time, I began using Twitter and it slowly became central in my online endeavours. I love the consideration of word craft and the power and speed of a tweet.

Through Twitter, I connected with a new community. My tweets, ideas, links and messages were/are considered at face value. I liked the disconnect with my wider life story. I love the opportunity to engage meaningfully with people with shared interests, or opposing interests, directly.

Whilst I manage a Facebook page for, perform administrative duties for a number of blogs and maintain a LinkedIn profile, my internet downtime is normally spent on Tumblr. I love Tumblr. It is my visual diary, a curated composition of beautiful, interesting, bizarre and inspiring images… a log of visual thought. Whilst I have had numerous online identities from Bandit-Queen-Ema-Bean, The Emazonian and ColourMeFiji, it was on Tumblr that I started to speak my truth and where PIMPI first took form.

I encourage artists to explore different platforms to express different shades of their personality and practice. In theory, it’s a way to ensure professional platforms stay professional, enabling the alternative slash uncensored slash unspoken thoughts to inhabit their own space. But in reality, there are overlaps and it’s these multidimensional ‘shades’ that create richness and texture and broaden the spectrum for influence and engagement.

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