Prominent Samoan artist responds to Christchurch's survivor spirit
1 Feb 2012
In post-earthquake Christchurch, the creative re-growth and re-build of a community have concerned Fatu Feu’u.
In post-earthquake Christchurch issues concerning the creative re-growth and rebuild of a community have been of particular concern to Fatu Feu’u.
Ola, explains the artist, ‘explores the affection for or love we have for where we come from.’
His solo exhibition, opening next month, is named with a Samoan word that functions as both noun and verb. Ola means ‘life’ and ‘to create life.’ Feu’u plays with the two merging concepts of Ola in his exhibition, exploring the human capacity to love, hope and grow in times of adversity.
In 2011, to mark the 15th anniversary of the Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist in residence programme, Fatu Feu’u (the first recipient in 1996) returned to Christchurch to complete a second residency. As part of this, Feu’u researched and wrote a new body of poetry which will be published accompanied by a series of lithographs. The paintings in Ola were produced as the foundation for this upcoming publication.
Born in Samoa 1946, Fatu Feu’u settled in New Zealand in 1966. A senior contemporary artist,Feu’u is an adept painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer and poet. He is also considered as both a leader and mentor within the Pacific arts community in New Zealand.
Drawing on his Samoan heritage as well as life in Aotearoa, his work combines traditional and contemporary myth and motif to articulate a graphic visual vernacular. Feu’u has exhibited regularly both nationally and internationally. His work is held in major collections such as the National Gallery, Brisbane; Auckland City Art Gallery; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington and Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton.
For further information and images please contact:
Lydia Baxendell, Art Collections Curator
University of Canterbury
Phone: (03) 364 2987 ex 8669
Title: Ola (a solo exhibition by Fatu Feu’u)
Venue: Ilam Campus Gallery: Block 2, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury
Date: 13 March 2012