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Ana Teofilo's 'O Le Malaga' at Nathan Homestead Gallery

Ana Teofilo's O Le Malaga On View at Nathan Homestead Gallery, Manurewa, 3rd Nov - 9th December

O Le Malagarefers to the notion of a journey - in this case, both personal and collective. Ana Teofilo’s

exhibition of paintings is a reflection on her heritage, her journey and Fa’a Samoa. A Selection of Ana Teofilo’s work is currently on view at the Nathan Homestead Gallery in Hill Road, Manurewa.

Young emerging artist Ana Teofilo is unusual for two reasons, one being more apparent than the other.

Less apparent is the fact Teofilo is a Pacifica NZ born Samoan artist working well outside and away from the South Pacific art hub of Auckland, being based in Dunedin. Teofilo says, “My roots are firmly based around my traditional Samoan heritage, but here my identity is very much caught between two cultures. While I want to keep my culture alive here, I do like working independently and removed from the bustle and commercialism of Auckland”.

More obvious is the uniqueness of Teofilo’s practice which involves carving each work, under and over-painting, and then encompassing the imagery with glue dots. The glue dots, a nod to aboriginal art, are opaque but reflect the base and surrounding colours to enhance the three dimensional effects of the carving.

The traditional Samoan carving is usually carried out by men; the Tapa making finished by women, but here, the traditional carved pattern making for Tapa is referenced and rendered by the artist Teofilo. Colour and palette are important aspects of Teofilo’s paintings and while earthy browns, reds and ochres appear dominant in many of the painted and carved images, the artist also uses stronger backgrounds employing rich prussian blue and emerald greens in several of the works. It is also obvious when viewing the works first hand in Teofilo’s studio, the works do need to be seen to readily appreciate the detailed and delicate carving highlighted with subtle pastel shading. While Teofilo’s artwork is firmly based around her Samoan heritage and traditional Siapo art forms, the uniqueness and strength of this new series of work brings a breath of fresh air to the Pacifica genre of art in New Zealand.

The exhibition is on veiw until the 9th December. All works are available for sale - contact the Warwick Henderson Gallery

At the Nathan Homestead Gallery, 70 Hill Road, Manurewa. Mon to Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 9am - 3pm


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