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Awards Celebrate The Best Of Pacific Arts

CREATIVE NEW ZEALAND
Media Release

17 November 2008

Embargoed until 7pm Monday 17 November 2008

Awards Celebrate The Best Of Pacific Arts

New Zealand's Pacific artists were honoured at the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards 2008 in Manukau City tonight. The awards are an opportunity for Creative New Zealand to encourage and celebrate excellence in Pacific arts in New Zealand.

Creative New Zealand's Pacific Arts Committee Chairperson Pele Walker said the annual Arts Pasifika Awards celebrate the rich and diverse range of Pacific art in New Zealand.

"Every year we are thrilled and delighted with not only the calibre of artists nominated but the range of artistic fields that they work in. The Pacific experience in New Zealand is unique, these awards are an opportunity for Creative New Zealand to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution these artists make to the flourishing New Zealand arts landscape" Pele Walker said.

Fiji-based composer and conductor, Igelese Ete (Samoa) received the Senior Pacific Artist Award ($7000) in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to the performance and promotion of Pacific music. Highlights of his career to date include working as the New Zealand choirmaster for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring alongside Oscar award winning composer Howard Shore; conductor for the Americas Cup opening ceremony 2002/3 and conductor/composer for the South Pacific Games in Samoa 2007.

Auckland-based Enuamanu Atiu Nui Marurua Society Inc (Cook Islands) has been awarded the Pacific Heritage Arts Award ($5000) in recognition of their work towards the publication of A Collection of Writings from Enuamanu and Beyond: E Autataangano Enuamanu e Ta Te Aukorero edited by Matiuteau Karora, Nuhisifa Seve-Williams, Armagh Mokoroa-Karora and Tupuna Kaiaruna (2007). The award acknowledges the society's contribution to the maintenance, revival and promotion of Cook Islands language, traditions and customs, performing arts and cultural practices.

Critically acclaimed Auckland playwright, Dianna Fuemana (Samoa), received the Pacific Innovation and Excellence Award ($5000). She is credited with being the first New Zealand Pacific playwright to merge the Niue and New Zealand born way of life through professional theatre. Mapaki, and her later work The Packer, received acclaim in New Zealand and internationally and has sealed Dianna Feumana's reputation as a leading light in New Zealand Pacific theatre.

Leilani Kake (Cook Island/ Rakahanga and Ngāpuhi) was awarded the Salamander Gallery Award for Emerging Pacific Visual Artists ($3000). Leilani is building a reputation for herself as a moving image artist of considerable promise. As a digital artist her work is concerned with exploring traditional cultural histories through the lens of modern technologies.

James Ioelu (Samoa) received the Iosefa Enari Memorial Award ($3000). This award recognises Iosefa Enari's pioneering role as in Pacific opera and is awarded to an artist to pursue study or travel opportunities overseas in their development as an opera singer. Twenty two year old James Ioelu plans to pursue international study opportunities when he completes his Bachelor of Music degree from Auckland University this year.

Multi-media digital artist Linda Tuafale Tanoa'I (Samoa) was awarded the Emerging Pacific Artists' Award ($3000). Linda (Linda T. as she is known by) completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree from AUT in 2007 and in the same year won the AUT University Sculpture Award for Visual Arts. Linda T. was one of the artists chosen to represent New Zealand in Pago Pago at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts. The artist presented a multi- media installation that included moving images and stories from Aotearoa.

Creative New Zealand's Pacific Arts Committee hosted the awards at Genesis theatre, Manukau City on Monday 17 November 2008.

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Profiles of Recipients

Dianna Fuemana (Niue/ Amerika Samoa) Award for Innovation and Excellence

Dianna Feumana emerged on the New Zealand theatre scene in 1999 with her one woman show Mapaki. She is credited with being the first New Zealand Pacific playwright to merge the Niue and New Zealand born way of life through professional theatre. Mapaki, and her later work The Packer, received acclaim in New Zealand and internationally and has sealed Dianna Feumana's reputation as a leading light in New Zealand Pacific theatre.

Born in 1973, Dianna is the youngest and only New Zealand born child from a family of eight. Her brothers and sisters were all born and semi-raised in American Samoa and Niue. Dianna's most recent work Falemalama is semi-biographical and is based on the life of her mother. A highlight of the playwright's career to date was staging Falemalama at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago this year. The first time she had been to American Samoa.

As well as writing for theatre, Dianna has been instrumental in building arts partnerships for the benefit of Pacific theatre in her work as an arts adviser for Auckland City Council (2003-2006) and working alongside Playmarket developing and managing a development programme for Pacific playwrights.

James Ioelu (Samoa) Iosefa Enari Memorial Award

As Head Prefect at St Kentigern's College, captain of the 1st XV and 1st XI, talented scholar, barbershop quartet national schools winner and a very good classical and jazz pianist, the world beyond secondary school was overflowing with possibilities and opportunities for James Ioela. In the finishing stages of a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University, James aged 22, now has his sights firmly on an international opera career.

With a wide interest in music, James started playing the piano aged four and has and has continued to experiment with other instruments including bass guitar. He entered his first singing competition in May this year, the North Shore Competition, and won all but two of the classes, in those two he gained second place. As a consequence he went to Sydney to compete in the McDonald Aria Competion. He was the youngest competitor and arrived at the quarter finals before being eliminated. James Ioela is a rising star in New Zealand opera.

Linda Tuafale Tanoa'I (Samoa) Emerging Pacific Artists' Award

Born in 1962 and raised in Auckland, Tuafale Tanoi (Linda T. as she is known by) has played a hands-on role in radio, theatre and festivals before finding her niche as a multi-media installation artist. In 2007 she completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree from AUT and in the same year won the AUT University Sculpture Award for Visual Arts. Linda T. was one of the artists chosen to represent New Zealand in Pago Pago at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts. The artist presented a multi- media installation that included moving images and stories from Aotearoa.
Linda T. has been actively involved in the Samoan community in Kingsland recording, photographing and documenting urban culture for over twenty years. Working in "time-based sculpture", the artist uses short story documentaries and variations of live performance art installations. People are central to her work and at the heart of her interests.
Igelese Ete (Samoa) Senior Pacific Artist Award
Igelese Ete is a leader and promoter of Pacific music and performance. Commissioned in 1998 to create a choral piece for a 300 strong student choir for the opening of Te Papa Tongarewa, Igelese has created works that command national and international profile for Pacific music. The Te Papa commission resulted in the work Malaga…The Journey for which North and South magazine named him as one of the "100 New Zealanders who had made a difference in New Zealand music".
Other exciting projects followed including working as the New Zealand choirmaster for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring alongside Oscar award winning composer Howard Shore; conductor for the Americas Cup opening ceremony 2002/3 and conductor/composer for the South Pacific Games in Samoa 2007.

As well as having composed and conducted for over 40 choirs Igelese has also been the founding Musical Director of several choirs including the Auckland Pacific Gospel Choir and most recently the Malaga Singers from University of the South Pacific Music Centre, Suva Fiji.
Motivated by his desire to "inspire, empower, educate and uplift all through Pacific creative and performing arts", Igelese is a creative powerhouse empowering a new generation of Pacific composers, artists and performers.

Enuamanu Atiu Nui Marurua Society Inc (Cook Islands) Pacific Heritage Arts Award

The Enuamanu Atiu Nui Marurua Society Inc have been awarded the Pacific Heritage Arts Award in recognition of their work towards the publication of A Collection of Writings from Enuamanu and Beyond: E Autataangano Enuamanu e Ta Te Aukorero edited by Matiuteau Karora, Nuhisifa Seve-Williams, Armagh Mokoroa-Karora and Tupuna Kaiaruna (2007). The award acknowledges the society's contribution to the maintenance, revival and promotion of Cook Islands language, traditions and customs, performing arts and cultural practices.

For many years the Enuamanu Atiu Nui Marurua Society Inc has been attuned to the needs of its members and wider Cook Islands people in Auckland and in New Zealand. The publication highlights the importance of Pacific peoples recording their own histories and gives a 'voice' to the perspectives of indigenous practitioners and scholars. The publication makes accessible to all, the art forms that are specific and special to the Cook Islands.

Leilani Kake (Cook Island/ Rakahanga and Ngāpuhi)) Salamander Gallery Award for Emerging Pacific Visual Artists

Leilani Kake is building a reputation for herself as a moving image artist of considerable promise. Leilani graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002 and again with a Post-Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts in 2005. Her work is concerned with exploring traditional cultural histories through the lens of modern technologies. Two major works that she has completed to date are Talking Tivaevae (2005) and Ariki (2007). Both works are highly personal stories dealing with issues of identity and culture, tradition and change.


ENDS

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