Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Way to go, painters from Nadi

Fiji Arts Council participants with their artwork, standing L-R, Sairusi Uanitokalau, Ratu Ralulu Saverio and Sevanaia Delana. Front, Joe Taoi and Nelson Delailomaloma
from w
The artwork that Pacific Island kids come up with is often stunning. A big vinaka vakalevu to the mentors who see the talents of these young people and get their work into the public eye. From the Fiji Times today.

A touch of CreativitiBy RUBY TAYLOR-NEWTOWN
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
FOUR emerging artists from Nadi will be showcasing their creative works at this evening's Fiji Arts Council-organised Birds and Turtles Art Exhibition at the Fiji Centre for Art in Suva. For Sairusi Uanitokalau, Sevania Delana, Ratu Ralulu Saverio and Nelson Delailomaloma, the exhibition will be their debut. This is the launch pad that they need to pursue a professional career in arts. The timing is significant in that today is the thematic day for climate change during the Pacific Youth Festival.

Director of the Fiji Arts Council Letila Mitchell said they wanted to put on an exhibition that focused on an issue that linked all Pacific people. "Our totems are our various native species of birds and turtles," she said. "However with issues of climatic change, globalisation and pollution, many of these species are being affected and are facing extinction and/or endangerment. So it was an issue that many artists hold important in their work and, therefore, the theme was something they all wanted to portray."

Mitchell said the exhibition will feature youth artists and about 15 of Fiji's senior artists who will also exhibit alongside the youth artists, "to ensure the connection between our youth and elders and the importance of mentorship and support".

Mitchell believes that if local arts are invested into, there would be no need for imported art.

The youths have been encouraged and mentored by one of Fiji's homegrown favourites, Joe Taoi -- winner of the Fiji Arts Council's Indigenous Art Award in 2005 for his superb painting titled "Oi rau na vuda" a painting which told the story about ancestors who came back from Vuda, Lutunasobasoba and his wife. "We have a lot of God-given talents for artists in Fiji. They just don't have the passion for it yet," Taoi said.

Sairusi Uan-itokalau chose the title "Fijian Wildlife" for his painting acrylic paint on masi (tapa cloth), and hopes the exhibition will build his skills and creativity.

Sevania Delana moulded a clay pot first and then painted a turtle design around it, depicting his title "Pacific Rim."

Taoi said all the youths are based in Martintar Nadi and display some of their art work at Creativiti.

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