Recognising creative talent in the Pacific Island diaspora

Don't Pacify Me November 12, 2009

Don’t Pacify Me

As I continue my search for artists is the realm of the Pacific, I came across an exhibition that was held earlier in the year in New Zealand called, “Don’t Pacific Me”.

don't pacify me

The exhibition brings together an impressive roll call of eighteen senior Pacific students from five Auckland art schools. The artists’ Pacific identity is explored through painting, photography, moving image, sculpture, design and installation. The artists include Cerisse Palalagi, Claudia Jowitt, David Sun, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Kalisolaite Uhila, Mele Mafile’o Uhamaka, Nooroa Tapuni, Pelenato Liufau, Paula Schaafhausen, Petelo Esekielu, Penitoa Finau, Samantha Atasani, Ahilapalapa Rands, Amanda Warwick, Ane Tonga, Siliga Setoga, Vaimoana Eves, Victoria Patea. The curator is Charmaine Ilaiu and the event is presented by the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust.

It was exciting to stumble upon a collaborative of artists exploring Pacific Identity through various art forms and visual media.  However, as is with the majority of practising and emerging artists who’s work encompasses Pacific Islander themes, most of these works come from New Zealand.  That’s not a bad thing, in fact, New Zealand is a leader in it’s involvment in, and support of, Pacific Islander art practices.  Hopefully through the promotion of Pacific Islander themes here on Pacific Docs we will start to see more artists emerge in Australia and directly out of the islands.  Come on people, I know your out there, make yourself known and help promote and represent the creative talent within Pacific Islander communities.

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