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Grants support Pacific artists to showcase work


To: Arts Reporters/Chief Reporters

Date: 29 October 2001

No of pages: 5

Grants support Pacific
artists to showcase work

Pacific Islands visual artists, hip-hop artists and theatre practitioners will be showcasing their work overseas during the next six months, with the support of grants from the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand.

In its latest project funding round, announced this week, the Pacific Arts Committee offered grants totalling $137,690 to 26 projects. Among the projects are two exhibitions in Sydney, which will feature the work of New Zealand’s Pacific visual artists.

Sofia Tekela-Smith (Rotuman), a jeweller and body adornment artist from Grey Lynn, Auckland, was offered a $6000 grant to create new work for her solo show, Desire, at Sydney’s Mori Gallery in November 2001.

Pacific-Artspace, an Australian gallery, was offered a $5000 grant supporting an exhibition of Pacific art at the Sydney College of the Arts. Opening in March 2002, the exhibition will feature the work of Andy Leleisi’uao, Niki Hastings-McFall, John Ioane, Lily Aitui Laita and Filipe Tohi.

Christchurch all-female, hip-hop group Sheelahroc was also supported with a grant of $5000 to take part in the prestigious Adelaide Arts Festival 2002. The performers will showcase a collaboration of Pacific Islands and Mäori artists at Cross Connections, the Festival’s three-day hip-hop programme.

Marilyn Kohlhase, Chair of the Pacific Arts Committee, said the work of New Zealand’s Pacific artists was distinctive, fresh and innovative.

“Increasingly, our artists are featuring alongside mainstream artists both in New Zealand and overseas,” she said. “It’s important this Committee continues to support Pacific artists to develop their work and build new audiences.”

One of the aims of a tour to Samoa of the children’s play, Popo the Fairy, is to explore new markets in the Pacific for New Zealand’s Pacific artists. Written and produced by Makerita Urale (Samoan) of Wellington, Popo the Fairy was a highlight of the Pasifika Festival 2001. A grant of $7000 will support Makerita Urale (producer), Eroplia Ifopo (director) and Siaosi Mulipola (lead actor, dancer) to tour Popo the Fairy to Samoan schools and villages in late 2001.

“We’ll be casting eight local actors, including three children, which is a great way to share our skills with the Samoan community,” Urale said. “My long-term goal is to create a tour circuit throughout the Pacific for New Zealand’s Pacific artists.”

In this round, the Pacific Arts Committee received a record number of 58 applications for project funding, seeking more than $570,000. Marilyn Kohlhase said the Committee was delighted at the overall improvement in the quality of the applications. It was also pleased to receive more applications from regions such as the Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Dunedin.

As well as showcasing Pacific arts overseas, a number of the projects celebrate and showcase Pacific arts to New Zealanders. For the first time, the Wellington Fringe Festival 2002 will include a section promoting and presenting Pacific Islands arts, supported by a grant of $10,000 from the Pacific Arts Committee.

In Hastings, two festivals will be showcasing Pacific arts this summer. The Public Dreams Trust was offered a $5000 grant to produce Ki Mua – To the Future, a performance by the internationally acclaimed Auckland band Te Vaka. And the Pacific Islands Community Committee was offered $5000 to celebrate the arts and culture of its Cook Islands, Tongan and Samoan communities.

Workshops and festivals in Auckland, Porirua, Taupo and Dunedin were also supported with grants from the Pacific Arts Committee. These events aim to strengthen and promote the traditional arts and culture of different island groups. At Easter 2002, more than 5000 Tokelau people from throughout New Zealand and overseas will gather in Porirua to take part in the Tokelau Sports and Cultural Festival, which was supported with a $10,000 grant. And in late 2001, Niuean arts and culture will be promoted at workshops in Porirua, with the support of a $5000 grant.

Both emerging and established artists were offered grants in this funding round. A grant of $6000 to the Waikato Museum of Art and History will support Dolly Mix (W)rapper, an exhibition celebrating emerging and established Samoan women artists. Opening in March 2002, it will be curated by emerging Hamilton artist Leafea Janice Wilson with support from Jim Vivieaere.

The Committee was also pleased to offer a $3000 grant to talented, emerging artist Mark Fa’avae (Samoan) of Nelson for a solo exhibition in June 2002. “I want people to see my work and feel Samoa; to feel connected to the painting – to the warmth and strong colours – but also see something new,” Fa’avae said.

Applications to the next funding round of the Pacific Arts Committee close on 22 February 2002. Copies of the Funding Guide: Ngä Pütea 2001-2002 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


For further information and details about any of these grants, please contact:
Undine Marshfield
Media and Communications Advisor
Creative New Zealand
Tel 04-498 0725

Iona McNaughton
Communications Writer
Creative New Zealand
Tel 04-498 0715

Pacific Arts Committee project grants
The following is a complete list of grants offered under the Pacific Arts Committee’s four funding programmes. These are Pacific Islands Arts Development; Pacific Islands Arts Promotion; Pacific Islands Heritage Arts; and Pacific Islands Tangata Whenua Links.

Pacific Islands Arts Development
$6000 to Nightmare of Wellington: to adapt Oscar Kightley’s play, Dawn Raids, into a film script. Written in 1997, Dawn Raids was performed in Auckland and Christchurch to critical acclaim. Samoan writer Oscar Kightley will adapt his play into a feature film script, which will then be workshopped with experienced actors. Lisa Chatfield, producer of the successful film, Scarfies, will produce the film of Dawn Raids.
$5000 to the Rockquest Trust of Nelson: towards the nationwide 2002 Smokefree Pacifica Beats Award. This award, involving intermediate and secondary schools throughout New Zealand, aims to encourage contemporary Pacific music and performance. It is a part of the annual cokesmokefreerockquest event, which included 600 school bands from 20 different regions in 2001.
$13,000 to VAhine of Whangaparaoa: to research and develop new works for exhibition. A collective comprising Niki Hastings-McFall, Lonnie Hutchinson and Lily Aitui Laita, VAhine will travel to Western Samoa to research and document information on star mounds and associated oral traditions. The artists will then create new work, which they hope to exhibit in late 2002.
$4000 to Rotorua Pacific Island Development Charitable Trust: towards a drama performance. Written and directed by Paul So’oula, the drama will be performed by Pacific Islands youth in November 2001.
$5000 to Shigeyuki Kihara of Grey Lynn, Auckland: towards a solo exhibition, Black Sunday. Using paper collage and digitally enlarged images on binded canvas, the work will be exhibited at the Oedipus Rex Gallery in Auckland in December 2001.
$6000 to the Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton: towards an exhibition, Dolly Mix (W)rapper, celebrating Samoan women artists. To open in March 2002, the exhibition will be curated by Leafea Janice Wilson with support from Jim Vivieaere. It will include photographers, painters, installation/adornment artists, a sculptor and a filmmaker. The title comes from the wrapper of a lolly mix and describes a group show of Samoan women artists, who are a mix of emerging and established artists working across a range of media. The show will also be exhibited at Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts and Cultures.
$5000 to the Pacific Islands Community Committee of Hastings, Hawke's Bay: to celebrate and showcase Pacific arts. Cook Islands, Samoan and Tongan communities will come together with singing, dancing, drama, visual arts and food over the summer of 2001-2002.
$5000 to Willy Here Dean of Kingsland, Auckland: to record a solo album. A popular Cook Islands musician and entertainer, Willy Dean (also known as Here Takatunga) has recorded four solo albums. He has composed several new songs for this album.
$5000 to Andy Leleisi’uao of Onehunga, Auckland: to develop and exhibit a new series of work, Minoi, minoi mai. Using tapa cloth and Island design patterns, Minoi, minoi mai will be “a fusion of Pacific Islands people, angels and fairies, who seize life and all that it offers”, Leleisi’uao says. The work will feature at the Salamander Gallery in Christchurch in August 2002, where his solo show, The Brown Corner, was exhibited in September 2001.

Pacific Islands Arts Promotion
$6000 to Sofia Tekela-Smith of Grey Lynn, Auckland: to create a new body of work for a solo exhibition, Desire, in Sydney. Her first solo show in a major dealer gallery, Tekela-Smith will create artwork exploring the theme of “desires”. The exhibition will run in conjunction with the Pacific Wave Festival in Sydney in November 2001.
$5000 to Pacific_Artspace of Collingwood, Australia: towards an exhibition of Pacific art at the Sydney College of the Arts. Opening in March 2002, the exhibition of contemporary Pacific art will feature the work of Andy Leleisi’uao, Niki Hastings-McFall, John Ioane, Lily Aitui Laita and Filipe Tohi.
$2700 to Lisa Taouma of Grey Lynn, Auckland: to attend a symposium on Pacific art in New York. At the conference, to be held in February 2002, Taouma will present a paper and a selection of her documentary work on Pacific art and images in Aotearoa.
$5000 to Karoline Tamati of Christchurch: to support participation of the all-female, hip-hop group Sheelahroc in the Adelaide Arts Festival 2002. The performers will take part in the Festival’s three-day, hip-hop programme, Cross Connections, showcasing a collaboration of Pacific Islands and Mäori artists.
$4000 to Graham Fletcher of Mount Eden, Auckland: towards publication costs of an exhibition catalogue. The catalogue will accompany Fletcher’s exhibition at the Brooke Gifford Gallery in Christchurch in 2002. Last year, Fletcher was runner-up in the Wallace Art Awards and a finalist in the 2001 Art Waikato National Art Award. In the past four years, he has produced six significant series of paintings, which explore cultural issues related to his Samoan/European ethnicity.
$6000 to Misa Tupou of Hawaii: to present Ola’s Son at the Wellington Fringe Festival 2002. Born and raised in Tonga and New Zealand, Misa Tupou has lived in Hawaii for the past two years. Inspired by a poem about the shooting of a young Samoan in Hawaii, Tupou adapted the poem into a two-person play and has toured it throughout Hawaii.
$10,000 to Wellington Fringe Festival Trust: to promote and present the Pacific Islands section at the 2002 Festival. This is the first time the Fringe will include a Pacific Islands arts section. The grant will support three works by emerging Pacific artists, helping the artists launch their careers and developing new markets for Pacific Islands arts.
$2000 to Genevieve Jackson of Mangere, Auckland: to present a live show and promote Niuean music. As well as promoting the emerging Niuean singer, the show will also promote Niuean music to a wider audience. Jackson’s first album, Haaku Motu, was released last year and she hopes her first live show will help her market a second album.
$7000 to Makerita Urale of Lyall Bay, Wellington: to tour Popo the Fairy to Samoa. This multi-lingual Pacific fairytale will tour to Samoa for three weeks in November/December 2001, performing in primary schools and villages. For Urale, one of the aims of the tour is to explore new markets for Pacific artists of New Zealand. Popo the Fairy, written and produced by Makerita Urale, was performed at the Pasifika Festival 2001 and the International Laugh Festival 2001.
$5000 to the Public Dreams Trust of Hastings: to produce Ki Mua – To the Future, a performance by Te Vaka, at First Night Hastings. This community event, to be held on 30 - 31 December 2001, nurtures local and national artists by showcasing their work. The performance of Ki Mua is based on Te Vaka’s second album of the same title.
$3000 to Mark Fa’avae of Nelson: towards a solo exhibition in June 2002. An emerging artist, Fa’avae has exhibited his work in Nelson. He also took part in the Pacific Arts Committee’s workshop for visual artists, Fresh Horizons, held in Auckland in 2000. “I want to catch Samoa on canvass,” he says. “I want people to see my work and feel Samoa; to feel connected to the painting – to the warmth and strong colours – but also see something new.”

Pacific Islands Heritage Arts
$10,000 to Mafutaga Tupulaga Tokelau Polilua of Porirua: towards the Tokelau Sports and Cultural Festival. Porirua will host this biennial event during Easter 2002, and more than 5000 Tokelau people from throughout New Zealand and overseas are expected to attend. Displays will include visual arts, crafts, carvings, Tokelau music, Po Fatele (dance) and drama.
$2000 to Erupi Gaualofa of Taupo: to run a series of Tokelau carving workshops. As the only elder in Taupo with the knowledge and experience to teach the Tokelau art of carving, Erupi Gaulofa wants to pass on his skills to youth and others in the community.
$1990 to Fauniteni ‘o e Mo’ui of Mt Eden, Auckland: to run a series of tapa-making workshops. Fauniteni ‘o e Mo’ui, a group of Tongan women, was established in 1998 and meets once a week to work together and share their knowledge and skills. The group has organised an exhibition of their work and will run tapa-making workshops from late November 2001 until February 2002.
$5000 to Kapitiga ‘A Niue of Porirua: towards workshops to strengthen and promote Niuean culture. Three days of workshops in Porirua in late 2001 will cover Niuean language, weaving, carving and performing arts. The organisation hopes to record the workshops on video and make them available to others as a way of passing on knowledge of traditional Niuean arts and culture.

Pacific Islands Tangata Whenua Links
$4000 to PACIFICA Dunedin Central: to hold a series of weaving workshops in Dunedin. Mäori and Pacific cultures will interact in workshops to be held over three weekends. Each workshop will be conducted by master weavers - one Mäori and one Pacific Islands - and involve collaborative works. There will also be an exhibition of the works.
$5000 to Ardijah of Manukau City: to create new work. The well-known contemporary music band will use the grant to create new musical works, fusing elements of Pacific Island and Mäori instruments and rhythms with funk, soul and reggae. Ryan C. Fonk Monga (Cook Islands, Tahitian, Irish, Mäori) and Betty-Anne Hall-Monga (Mäori, French, English) will co-write the new songs, which they will perform and produce for an album.

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