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Samoa-New Zealand artistic exchange to celebrate Samoan Independence 2012

8 May 2012

This content is tagged as Pacific arts .

NEWS

Seven Samoan artists will visit New Zealand for a week in June as part of a cultural exchange celebrating Samoa’s 50th anniversary of independence and the close ties between Samoa, New Zealand and their peoples.

Seven Samoan artists will visit New Zealand for a week in June as part of a cultural exchange celebrating Samoa’s 50th anniversary of independence and the close ties between Samoa, New Zealand and their peoples.

Creative New Zealand, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Museum and Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku will mark Samoa’s Golden Jubilee with a programme of public demonstrations and workshops.

In 1962 Western Samoa became independent of New Zealand after a period of trusteeship from 1919.  At this time they signed a Treaty of Friendship which underpins today’s official relationship.

Samoan Independence Day is celebrated on 1 June every year in Samoa, and among the New Zealand Samoan community of more than 130,000 people.

The visiting Samoan artists specialise in heritage arts and will participate in a week of activities in Auckland and Wellington.  

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will welcome the artists at a pōwhiri at Mangere Arts Centre on Saturday 9 June 2012.  Auckland Museum, Mangere Arts Centre and Te Papa will each run their own public programme.  Members of the Samoa artist delegation will also visit 50th anniversary activities at Victoria University Library in Wellington.

“This exchange recognises the history of Samoa and New Zealand’s relationship, supports the future of Pacific heritage arts in New Zealand, and brings together Pasifika and Māori artists who share so much common ground.  It’s a great way for us all to celebrate together,” says Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.  

The artists include tattooist Paul Junior Sulu’ape, son of master tattooist Sulu’ape Petelofrom the legendary tatau family Sulu’ape, supported by assistant Heperona Seiuli; two ‘ie toga (fine mat) weavers, ‘Auomala Folasa-Solo andSavelina Afa’ese from Savai’i; two master carvers, Suimatua Kiripele Umu Alaia who is also a matai and expert orator and Felise Ioane who has many years of expertise in sennit making.  Sennit is a type of woven cord used in architecture, boat building, fishing and as decoration throughout the Pacific.

The group will be led by Galumalemana Steven Percival, a matai and video maker, who will act as interpreter and liaison for the artists, many of whom have not travelled outside of Samoa. Galumalemana, an independent filmmaker, has produced a number of films capturing Samoa's cultural heritage and is the founder of the Tiapapata Art Centre which was established to promote traditional and contemporary Samoan arts and crafts.

Highlights of the artists’ time in New Zealand include a Samoa ‘Ava ceremony at Auckland Museum, a pōwhiri at Mangere Arts Centre and the artists’ involvement during Te Papa’s Matariki Festival.  It is hoped the cultural exchange will give New Zealand communities access to expert Pacific arts practitioners and that positive relationships will be formed, strengthened and advanced.

ENDS