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Pacific Arts Committee Supports Residencies

Date: 24 May

Pacific Arts Committee Supports Residencies or Visual Artists

Filipe Tohi, a New Plymouth sculptor, has been awarded the Pacific artists’ residency at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at Canterbury University.

In its latest funding round, announced this week, the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand supported the residency with a grant of $9000 to the Macmillan Brown Centre.

During his three-month residency, Tohi (Tongan) will be working mainly in the areas of traditional la lava (lashing), stone carving using Oamaru stone, and wood sculpture. He will also give talks and conduct a workshop in sculpting for secondary school students. At the end of Tohi’s residency in late September, there will be an exhibition of the work he completed during the residency along with selected work from workshop participants.

In this funding round, the Pacific Arts Committee received 44 applications for funding seeking more than $540,000. The grant to the Macmillan Brown Centre was one of 26 grants, totalling $159,260.

Marilyn Kohlhase, Chair of the Pacific Arts Committee, said residencies were important because they provided artists with a sustained period of time in which to create new work. She was particularly pleased that the Committee had initiated its own residency for visual artists in Rarotonga.

Open to all visual artists of Pacific Islands heritage who are living, working and exhibiting in New Zealand, the residency is a collaboration with the Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development and will take place every year for the next three years between September and December.

Christchurch people will be able to view the work of Manukau City artist Andy Leleisi’uao (Samoan) at the Salamander Gallery in September. A former recipient of the Macmillan Brown Centre’s Pacific artists’ residency, Leleisi’uao was offered a $5400 grant to develop a series of new and innovative work for exhibition.

Leleisi’uao, whose work was recently exhibited at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, says the theme for his latest work is love and desire. “In past exhibitions, I have portrayed the frustration, helplessness and anger of Pacific Islands people. I now want to corner love and restraint, to capture on paper a physical and psychological relationship between lovers.”

Two Auckland visual artists were offered grants to exhibit their work at the Lane Gallery in Auckland.

Sheyne Tuffery (Samoan/Cook Islands) was offered $5000 for a multi-media exhibition featuring woodblock prints, paintings, drawings, small sculpture and projected animations with sound. Tuffery describes his show, which will run for three weeks in July, as “a visual and aural feast”, providing an insight into the future of Polynesian architecture and cityscapes.

A grant of $1560 to Dagmar Dyck (Tongan) will support a solo show at the Lane Gallery in September. Dyck exhibits regularly and her work, which she describes as a “celebration of my heritage”, is represented by dealer galleries throughout New Zealand and in Australia.

The Pacific Arts Committee is organising a series of regional fono, aimed at helping individuals, groups and organisations apply to the Committee for funding. The fono will start in Auckland on 18 June and also cover Hamilton, the central and lower North Island, plus four centres in the South Island.

Applications to the next funding round of the Pacific Arts Committee close on 27 July 2001. Copies of the Funding Guide: Nga Putea 2001-2002 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


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