Posts tagged ‘Lanuola’

Back in Suva stomping old ground, learning a lot and feeling so excited for The Veiqia Project! So gloriously un-academic, and safe from territorialism, this trip has been deeply inspiring…

The Veiqia Project is a creative research project investigating the practice of Fijian female tattooing; it will culminate in an exhibition due to open at Auckland’s St Paul St Gallery 3 in March 2016, timed to coincide with the Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium and Auckland Arts Festival. The exhibition will feature new work by seven contemporary artists from Australia and New Zealand. Through a shared online research forum and time spent with Fijian collections at museums in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, the artists have generated an indigenous research archive driven by personal, artistic and relational connections.

A significant Creative New Zealand grant enabled New Zealand-based artists Margaret Aull, Joana Monolagi, Luisa Tora and myself to travel to Suva to meet Australia-based artist Dulcie Stewart and co-curator, Tarisi Vunidilo, to conduct research at Fiji Museum, host two public events, meet and hear stories from a broad range of artists, experts and academics. A special invitation was extended to Darwin-based tatu artist / film maker / choreographer, Julia Mage’au Gray, who contributed knowledge and insights on tattoo design, protocols, inspiration and the wider globalised challenges of appropriation and intellectual property protection.

This week, we all start to trace the well-worn paths back to our diasporic other-lands. The Veiqia Project has been grounded and expanded, it has become a catalyst and a trigger, a call to action and a gentle reminder that this particular approach to creative research is tangible and social, genuine and emotional, intersectional and multidimensional… and not at all academic.

Thank you to our project partners: Creative New Zealand, Fiji Museum, Fiji National University School of Creative Art, Sangeeta Singh Photography. Thank you to our friends and families who have fed and watered us, driven us around and lent us cars, cameras, drawing skills. Thank you to the staff at the Fiji Museum, especially Mere, Mereia, Prakashni, Ratu Sela, William, Raijeli and Elenoa. Vinaka Jane Ricketts and the resident artists at Tagimoucia Gallery. Thank you Twitter fams, @gurumi, @sharky_fj and @fijiandiva104! We are all truly grateful!

v i n a k a   v a k a l e v u

Lanuola Mereia Aniseko

I’ve been on a break from blogging! My daughter Lanuola Mereia Aniseko was born on July 31 at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

Motherhood has been a trip; I have found new depths within my heart and mind, and see the world in a brand new light – it’s pretty awesome. Lanuola is Fijian-Pākehā-Samoan-Tongan, from the villages of Neiafu (Savai’i, Samoa), Nukunuku (Tongatapu, Tonga) and Dravuni (Kadavu, Fiji). She is named after her paternal grandmother, her maternal Great-Grandmother and maternal Aunty.

Whilst managing a new baby, there have been some projects slowly on the boil. I received a grant from Creative New Zealand to produce an exhibition and residency at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington next January; a selection of works from the third Polyfest Portrait Project are finally going to be installed at the new Manukau Campus of Manukau Institute of Technology, and plans are underway to deliver a paper at the 2015 Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium in Melbourne next April.

In this relative downtime, I’ve taken Lanuola to quite a few shows… she went to the opening of Poly-Typical curated by Tanu Gago for Fresh Gallery Otara, checked out Urban Drift curated by Ane Tonga for Papakura Art Gallery, the Light Show at Auckland Art Gallery (an EXCELLENT exhibition for babies!), Rosanna Raymond and Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi’s solo exhibitions at Mangere Arts Centre, the newly rebranded Te Uru – an incredible new arts facility in Titirangi, West Auckland. And also Tagimoucia Gallery, the Gallery of Suva Prison in Walu Bay, Suva, Fiji – works by Epeli Labalaba and Pauliasi Delaibatiki were so striking and memorable – an amazing little Gallery well worth the visit.

Watch this space for updates on Between Wind and Water, the first project I’ve attempted to produce in a different city, largely with one hand! #MumLife

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