Margaret Aull (Te Rarawa, Tūwharetoa, Fiji) completed undergraduate studies at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Waikato Institute of Technology where she completed a Bachelor of Media Arts winning the Waikato Museum ArtsPost Award for excellence in Academic Record in 2006. In 2013, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. Aull has exhibited extensively in New Zealand since 2005 with a solo exhibition entitled Na Kena Yali (Loss) at the Chartwell Gallery, Hamilton in 2008, Concealed Ancestors at Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland in 2013 and The Way Home at the Calder and Lawson Gallery, University of Waikato in 2014. She currently works as the Art Collection Curator for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa based in Te Awamutu.
Aull’s work reflects the tensions of culture and identity between her Fijian and Māori ancestry. Her work is the ongoing effort to find equilibrium between the two cultural powerhouses by investigating the relationships of whakapapa, faith and politics. She is a noted painter but has started also working in sculpture and installation. Aull has works in private and public collections including Auckland Council, The Barry Hopkins Art Collection, Fiji Museum, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Open Wānanga Collections, Waikato Institute of Technology and Waikato Museum of Art and History.
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Joana Monolagi has been creating Fijian arts for about 20 years. She was born in the town of Ba, Viti Levu, Fiji, moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1978, and now lives in Pakuranga. Monolagi enjoys working with arts from her Fijian heritage such as masi (Fijian barkcloth) printing, creating Fijian costumes, teaching meke (dance) and telling Fijian stories. In 1990 she started to weave and learn to print masi. When Monolagi began experimenting with masi printing she drew on her memories of watching women in Fiji making and printing it. She taught herself how to create stencils for printing onto masi and enjoys making new stencils which she adds to her collection. Monolagi experiments with new materials available in Aotearoa New Zealand, combining the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. She values the importance of sharing the knowledge and skills that she has, which she does by running workshops for women’s groups in the Fijian community. Monolagi is the Fijian coordinator for the Fiji village at Auckland’s annual Pasifika Festival. She has held this role since 2001 and sees it as another way of showcasing Fijian culture and heritage through the arts. In 2015, Monolagi’s long-term investment in the creation and promotion of Fijian heritage artforms was recognised when she received the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Award for Heritage Arts.
Brisbane based, Dulcie Stewart was born in Fiji and is of Fijian (vasu Bua, Kadavu, Rewa and Tailevu), Danish, Spanish Mexican, Filipino, American, Irish, English, and Chinese descent. This mixed heritage has influenced her artistic practice; and her role as a family historian and ongoing investigations into place, belonging, memory and identity.
Dulcie’s arts practice explores and celebrates the relationships between visual culture and contemporary Fijian identities through Fijian symbols, motifs and iconography found in her Australian urban landscape. These linkages in the captured landscape evoke memories of home and belonging.
Working with digital images and the manipulation of photography on a mobile phone, her juxtaposed images move between abstract and figurative representation of contemporary Fijian identities.
Luisa Tora’s multidisciplinary practice employs visual codes and cultural references to interrogate historical and embedded power dynamics, value and values. She worked in human rights in Fiji and the Pacific before moving to Aotearoa in 2009. She has a BA in Journalism and Pacific History & Politics from the University of the South Pacific and in 2014 she completed her Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) at the Faculty of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology. Her artwork can be found in private collections in Aotearoa, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa recently acquired her collaborative Dear Culture Vulture series (produced with her partner, painter Molly Rangiwai-McHale).