Award for mother and daughter
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.