Posts tagged ‘Suva’

The impetus to mount a solo exhibition comes to me at fairly significant junctures in life. My first solo, BLOOD + BONE was almost exactly eight years ago, and now I find myself drawn back to Karangahape Road to stage my second solo, Dark Meat

The Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies Residency at the University of Canterbury gave me time to think, and read, reflect and develop new perspectives on everything from curating to parenting, being a partner, an artist, being Pākehā and being Fijian. The extreme whiteness of Christchurch was at first intriguing but slowly started to feel suffocating. I returned home to South Auckland after three months and realised only upon returning how the isolation had made me re-value likeness and laughter, the love and light of like-minded artists and friends, and the relative centrality of Māori and Pacific values and protocols in everyday life.

When I was in Christchurch, the invisibility of Pacific Islanders and Pacific Islandness started to wear me down. It started to change my psyche. Since returning to South Auckland, I’ve been consciously healing but realised that the call home to Fiji has become too strong, and after 16 years in Auckland, I’ve decided to reverse migrate and relocate back to Suva in 2018.

Dark Meat comes from this juncture. It reflects on race and visibility, difference and perspective. I’m also re-showing Suva Girl, a photograph originally made in 2007, a symbolic nod to the end of an era.

The PIMPImanifesto, written as an outcome of the Residency, has also been beautifully printed as part of the exhibition, Kaitani at The Physics Room (on until 24 December) and a limited amount of signed copies will be available for sale during the exhibition.


Dark Meat
A solo exhibition by Ema Tavola
PREVIEW: 5.30pm, Tuesday 12 December
13-15 December 2017
Tautai Trust Office, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Central Auckland
Opening Hours: 9am – 5.30pm

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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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