The first major group exhibition of contemporary Pacific art developed by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki will open on Saturday 7 July. Home AKL is a dynamic exhibition presenting works by Pacific artists, most of whom live in Auckland.
Home AKL reveals the increasingly significant role Pacific art plays in New Zealand's identity and cultural landscape, and includes work by more than 20 artists whose heritage derives from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.
'New Zealand's contemporary Pacific art reflects many distinctive voices, stories and perspectives - it's urban, biographical and affected by its grass-roots community,' says the Gallery's Senior Curator, New Zealand and Pacific Art, Ron Brownson.
'Home AKL is a unique exhibition presenting work by both contemporary and heritage Pacific artists. Heritage artists use traditional techniques and media while often incorporating modern materials in their work.'
Artworks by three generations of Pacific artists show how these practitioners use personal experience to examine concepts of 'home' and belonging.
A range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video and adornment has been selected. Alongside artwork from the Gallery's collection and loans, Home AKL will feature 13 new commissions, including five from Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu and present work by Joana Monolagi, Louisa Humphry, Kaetaeta Watson, Foufili Halagigie, S?misi Fetokai Potauaine, Kolokesa Kul?kefu, H?lita Tupou and Lakiloko Keakea.
'It is impossible to consider New Zealand art today without taking account of the influence of the Pacific,' says Home AKL Associate Curator Ema Tavola of Fresh Gallery Otara. Also working with the Gallery on this exhibition are Associate Curators Nina Tonga and Kolokesa Mahina-Tuai.
Home AKL's opening day will be celebrated with free entry to the exhibition, music and performances. A family-friendly Big Day Art will also be held with art workshops inspired by the exhibition.
Over the course of Home AKL, the exhibition's supporting visitor programme will include free artist talks, film screenings and a seminar.
The exhibition is generously supported by Creative New Zealand and art patrons Rose Dunn and the Friedlander Foundation.
Exhibition entry: Single adult admission - $5. Children aged 14 and under - free. Concessions (students, senior citizens, community card holders, Friends of the Gallery) - $3. Season pass $20.
Home AKL is exhibited from 7 July until 22 October 2012
Exhibition Patrons: Albert Refiti, Senior Lecturer and Head of Spatial Design Department, AUT University and Caroline Vercoe, Senior Lecturer Art History Department, University of Auckland.
Artists: Edith Amituanai, Graham Fletcher, Tanu Gago, Foufili Halagigie, Niki Hastings-McFall, Louisa Humphry, Lonnie Hutchinson, Ioane Ioane, Leilani Kake, Lakiloko Keakea, Shigeyuki Kihara, Kolokesa Kul?kefu, Jeremy Leatinu'u, Andy Leleisi'uao, Janet Lilo, Joana Monolagi, Ani O'Neill, S?misi Fetokai Potauaine, John Pule, Greg Semu, Siliga David Setoga, Paul Tangata, Angela Tiatia, Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi, Teuane Tibbo, H?lita Tupou, Jim Vivieaere, Kaetaeta Watson.
Exhibition curators: Senior Curator - Ron Brownson, Associate Curators - Kolokesa M?hina-Tuai, Nina Tonga and Ema Tavola.
Image: Angela Tiatia, production still from the video Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis, 2010, courtesy of the artist