Award for mother and daugh­ter

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A Far North mother and daugh­ter were amongst the win­ners at last week’s 2018 Cre­ative New Zealand Arts Pasi­fika Awards.

Suli­eti Fiema-Bur­rows and her daugh­ter Tui Emma Gil­lies, from Kawakawa, won the $7500 Pa­cific Her­itage Artist Award.

The awards recog­nise an artist or cul­tural group who have made a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to main­tain­ing, re­viv­ing or pro­mot­ing a Pa­cific her­itage art­form in New Zealand, in­clud­ing via lan­guage, dance, tra­di­tional mu­sic, weav­ing or tatau.

Suli­eti and Tui Emma, who col­lab­o­rate in the Ton­gan art of tapa-mak­ing, have ex­hib­ited in New Zealand and in­ter­na­tion­ally, most re­cently at the Fes­ti­val of Quilts 2017 in the UK and at an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Man­gere Arts Cen­tre dur­ing this year’s Auck­land Fes­ti­val.

Suli­eti grew up watch­ing her mother make ngatu, Ton­gan tapa, in Fal­e­vai vil­lage, on Vava’u, and passed on her knowl­edge to her daugh­ter. Tui is now a pro­fes­sional tapa artist, whose work mixes con­tem­po­rary mo­tifs with tra­di­tional de­sign. She and her mother are help­ing to pre­serve the art­form by shar­ing their knowl­edge through work­shops, talks and ex­hi­bi­tions.

Caren Rangi, deputy chair­man of the Arts Coun­cil of New Zealand, said last week’s awards recog­nised some of New Zealand’s most tal­ented Pasi­fika artists, work­ing in con­tem­po­rary and her­itage art­forms.

“It’s a great plea­sure to recog­nise these out­stand­ing Pa­cific artists, who bring so much to the cul­tural land­scape of this di­verse na­tion,” she said.

“The awards play a key role in recognising the con­tri­bu­tion Pa­cific arts play in main­tain­ing con­nec­tions in the Pa­cific com­mu­nity, and with all who call Aotearoa home.

“They also recog­nise the many en­dur­ing links this coun­try has with other Pa­cific na­tions, and the many his­toric, cul­tural and fa­mil­ial ties we have to our Pa­cific neigh­bours.”


Tui Emma Gil­lies and her mother Suli­eti Fiema-Bur­rows, win­ners of an Art Pasi­fika Award.

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