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Pacific Arts Wall unveiled

26 October 2006

Pacific Arts Wall unveiled at Waitakere central

Waitakere's newest significant original artwork is a 3 metre by 1.5 metre Pacific Arts Wall unveiled yesterday in the Civic Wing of Waitakere Central.

The wall was created by the "Mamas", a group of women dedicated to preserving traditional Pacific Island arts and crafts.

The Mamas are co-ordinated by the council's Pacific arts advocate Mary Ama and are an inseparable part of the Waitakere Pacific Arts and Cultural centre on the Corban Estate.

The centrepiece of the work is dozens of highly polished sea-shells surrounded by intricately woven fans arranged layer upon colourful layer on a woven flax background.

The "Pacific Arts Wall" has a pride of place in a foyer outside the mayor's office, where it will be seen by visiting dignitaries and other guests of the council.

Mayor Bob Harvey describes the Mamas' art work as "'luminous'. It's the most beautiful piece of Pacific Art by our marvellous Mamas who work so tirelessly on all sorts of art work, both traditional and modern. They're down at the Corban Estate every day of the week.

"At Waitakere we make a point of having the work of local artists in and around our buildings and even as parts of the buildings themselves. Our arts-design practice is second to none," says Mayor Harvey.

Peta Si'ulepa, chairperson, Waitakere Pacific Arts and Culture Trust says art work is one of the key outcomes of the government's Heart of the Nation Strategy for Aotearoa - "Identities Affirmed - Heritage Revealed."

"This beautiful art piece captures and weaves together the unique relationship between the people of the Pacific and the people of Waitakere City; the Mana Whenua - Kawerau O Maki, and the tapestry of diverse cultures who make Waitakere special.

It also reflects the creativity and vibrancy of things to come," says Ms Si'ulepa.


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