Take off your shoes off and enter Fafetu at the Ashburton Art Gallery, and prepare to be won over by the brightly coloured woven pattern star-shapes on the walls by Tuvaluan master artist Lakiloko Keakea, as you feel the warmth on your feet from the woven papa (mats) on the floor. All created by West Auckland-based women’s group Fafine Niutao i Aotearoa, of which Keakea is also a member.
Fafetu is a touring exhibition from Auckland’s Objectspace, encompassing five decades of work which include 40 new works from 2016 to 2018 by Keakea. Composed with a mix of natural and fabricated materials; wool, synthetic ribbon, cloth ribbon, and plastic cargo ties, each work is a unique six or seven pointed star, seemingly floating from the wall in a raucous harmony of colour and intricate patterns.
At the heart of Fafetu is an acknowledgment and celebration of Tuvalu’s communities and the presence of their culture in Aotearoa, as well as an understanding of who Keakea and Fafine Niutao i Aotearoa are, and their strong connection to their heritage and homeland through their art forms of kolose and weaving and their revitalisation.
Fafetu. Curated by Malama T-Pole and presented by Objectspace, Auckland.
Ashburton Art Gallery
21 November - 12 February
Open daily: 10am-4pm, Wednesday to 7pm
- Lakiloko Keakea, Fafetu, installation photograph of Keakea’s woven stars and mats by Auckland-based women’s group Fafine Niutao i Aotearo. Photograph : Shirin Khosraviani