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A taste of the Ono – Pacific Arts Festival

A taste of the Ono – Pacific Arts Festival

From traditional tattooists to a once-only performance by a 25-guitar orchestra, this year’s Ono – Pacific Arts Festival from 1 to 4 February promises another unique package of Pacifica arts.

Core-funded by the Christchurch City Council, Ono is the sixth annual Pacific Arts Festival – attracting some of New Zealand’s most celebrated Pacific artists such as Michel Tuffery and Fatu Feu’u, along with our most promising local talents.

People can watch or even receive a tatau from Tufuga tātatau (master tatau artist), Peter Petelo Suluape, from Auckland, who works with the traditional Samoan tatau instruments, once crafted from boar’s and shark’s tooth, and a Maori moko design from Ta Moko master, Riki Manuel. Costs of tatau or moko vary, depending on the size and intricacy of the job. The two will be working on people at the Te Toi Mana Maori Art Gallery at the Christchurch Arts Centre from 10am to 4pm, 1-4 February.

Celebrated Oamaru stone sculptor, Johnny Penisula from Invercargill, will hold stone sculpture workshops at Te Pani House, 108 Seaview Road, New Brighton, throughout the festival from 10am to 4pm. For $20, people can take part. His works will be shown at an exhibition from 26 January to 14 February at Gallery Pacifica, 108 Seaview Road, New Brighton.

The well-received Island Summer, a performance by a 25-piece guitar orchestra along with Pacific singers and dancers, will take the stage in the Arts Centre North Quad from 8pm to 9.30pm on Friday, 3 February. Entry is up to $20 each. Door sales only.

This performance, which features much-loved Pacific music standards with a contemporary twist, received rave reviews when first staged at the Isaac Theatre Royal last year. Directed by Pos Mavaega of Pacific Underground’s Beats and Pieces, Island Summer also features Cydel and the Groovehouse, Grace Vanilau, O le Ula Samoa, and the Samoan Methodist Youth Group.

Free “Mama Weaving” workshops will be run by master weavers Emma Kesha and Maera White from 10am to 4pm, 1-3 February, at the Canterbury Museum visitors lounge, followed by a floor talk on “Tivaevae Threads” at the same venue on 4 February, by Stephanie Oberg, from 10am to 11am. Tivaevae is the much sought-after Cook Island quilt making, which was introduced to the Cook Islands by missionaries, but which took on their own bright Pacifica touches that are now an intrinsic part of Cook Island cultural ceremony.

Free Poi-making Ko Te Patu o Te Poi workshops will also be run at the Canterbury Museum visitors lounge from 10am to 1pm, 1-3 February, followed by Pacific Adornment by Leisa Aumua at 11am to 2pm on 4 February at the same venue.

Artist Fatu Feu’u is running a workshop in the Elizabeth Kelly Room from 10am to 4pm at the Arts Centre. Anyone wishing to attend can book for $120 for the day. Other highlights include: multi-media artist Michel Tuffery’s digital works which are being produced as part of Ono for presentation at 9.30pm after the Island Summer performance in the North Quad of the Arts Centre on Friday, 3 February.

On show now until 9 February is Jo Tito and Shane Tuffery’s Gondwana Waka, Oranga Whenua at Our City – O Tautahi, Corner of Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace. The artists will conduct a floor talk at Our City – O Tautahi on 2 February, from 11am.

In film, Ono and the Canterbury Fijian community will host the premiere of The Land Has Eyes, followed by short films produced by Barbara Carpenter and Jerry Tauamiti, at the Hoyts Cinema, Moorhouse Avenue. Tickets are $15 from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, phone 366 7202.

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