17 Nov 2018
Some of New Zealand’s most talented Pasifika artists were tonight recognised for their outstanding contributions at the 2018 Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards.
Celebrating excellence and innovation in Pacific Arts, the annual awards recognise outstanding Pasifika artists practicing contemporary and heritage artforms in Aotearoa.
Senior Pacific Artist Award winner Rosanna Raymond is a leading and influential voice in Pacific Arts nationally and globally with other winners representing a range of contemporary and heritage artforms from opera to multimedia and traditional Tongan tapa making.
“It’s a great pleasure to recognise these outstanding Pacific artists, who bring so much to the cultural landscape of this diverse nation,” says Arts Council of New Zealand Deputy Chair Caren Rangi.
“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,” she says.
Senior Pacific Artist Award ($20,000)
Recognising the contribution of a senior established Pacific artist in maintaining or developing their artform in New Zealand.
ROSANNA RAYMOND (based in Auckland)
Rosanna Raymond is a leading voice in Pacific Arts nationally and globally as a producer and commentator on contemporary Pacific Islands culture in Aotearoa New Zealand, the UK and USA. She has been a leader in major arts collectives and community movements in Pacific Arts for almost three decades, including the innovative fashion activists Pacific Sisters, a collective of Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists, performers, and musicians that electrified Auckland in the 1990s. Rosanna has worked at higher education institutions and museums as a curator, artist, performer, guest speaker and workshop leader. She is a mentor for many emerging Pacific artists and is the founder of SaVAge K’Lub, an open group of diverse artists who come together to challenge traditional western ideas of art and culture by transforming and activating passive spaces. A former Chesterdale Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Rosanna was the Pacific Artist in Residence at Government House in 2017.
Pacific Heritage Artist Award ($7,500)
Recognising an artist or cultural group who has made a major contribution to maintaining, reviving or promoting a Pacific heritage artform in New Zealand. This may include language, dance, traditional music, weaving or tatau.
SULIETI FIEME’A BURROWS & TUI EMMA GILLIES (based in Kawakawa, Northland)
Sulieti and Tui Emma are a mother and daughter duo who collaborate in the Tongan art of tapa-making. They 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 the Auckland Festival this year. Sulieti grew up watching her mother make ngatu, Tongan tapa, in Falevai village on Vava’u and passed on her knowledge of tapa-making to her daughter. Tui is now a professional tapa artist whose work mixes contemporary motifs with traditional design. Sulieti and Tui are helping to preserve this artform by sharing their knowledge through workshops, talks and exhibitions.
Contemporary Pacific Artist Award ($7,500)
Recognising an artist who has demonstrated innovation in their artform. Artists must have a track record and have achieved in their chosen field. Recognition will be given to those who work in a unique artform, or those who continually push the boundaries of their practice.
ANGELA TIATIA (based in Sydney)
Angela Tiatia is a multimedia artist who explores contemporary culture by drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body through the lens of a Pasifika woman. Born in Auckland, she grew up in New Zealand and is of Samoan and Australian heritage. Her work has been exhibited in New Zealand and internationally in Singapore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Mexico City, Honolulu and Australia and is held in numerous major collections. Most recently, she was the recipient of the prestigious Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize 2018 in Australia for her work The Fall. A video narrative inspired by reading and hearing survivor accounts of the fall of Singapore in 1942, which was described by the judges as a ''masterful video work with the richness and theatricality of a 19th Century tableau vivant''.
Special Recognition Award ($7,500)
Recognising the recipient’s special contribution to the standing, and standard, of Pacific Arts in New Zealand and/or internationally. This award recognises an individual whose work, influence and commitment have raised the standards, expectations and reputation of Pacific Arts and artists. It may be awarded for artistry across any artform or for arts management, and could be for a one-off or ongoing contribution to a local or international success story.
IOSEFA ENARI (based in Auckland)
An artistic director, performer, choreographer and advocate of community engagement, Iosefa Enari has been a significant and influential force in the Pacific dance community for three decades. Iosefa has been instrumental in developing and piloting opportunities for Pacific choreographers, dancers and teachers through leading and organising fono, art labs, workshops and events. Much of his work continues to engage and strengthen diverse Pacific Island communities, from the grassroots and community levels to national platforms and the international stage. Iosefa trained as a professional dancer at UNITEC’s Dance Department and holds a Master’s degree in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland. He is the founder of Pacific Dance New Zealand and Artistic Director of the Pacific Dance Festival.
Emerging Pacific Artist Award ($5,000)
Recognising an emerging artist showing promise and potential in their chosen artform. The purpose of this award is to recognise achievement at this developmental stage, ensuring the artist will develop their career in their chosen field.
LEKI JACKSON BOURKE (based in Auckland)
Leki Jackson Bourke is a graduate of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA) and an emerging Pasifika writer, actor, producer and choreographer. He co-directed and produced the 2017 cult comedy Meet the Fakas — a Niuean language play which sold out at the Mangere Arts Centre and Basement Theatre. The play won a 2017 Auckland Theatre Award and Leki was named outstanding newcomer to the city's theatre scene. This year Leki was named one of three Tautai Pasifika Creative New Zealand interns and also received the Creative New Zealand Todd New Writers Bursary Grant towards writing his new play, Pring It On. The play is based on his experience as a young school performer during the competitive Auckland Polyfest, where he has mentored many aspiring young performers. He recently became one of the youngest published Pasifika playwrights after a play he co-wrote, Inky Pinky Ponky, was included in the publication Talanoa: Four Pacific Plays. Leki is currently writing his third play, The Gangster's Paradise, which is slated for production as part of Auckland Theatre Company’s upcoming, Here and Now Festival.
Iosefa Enari Memorial Award ($5,000)
Recognising the contribution of the late Samoan opera singer Iosefa Enari to the arts, in particular his pioneering role in Pacific opera. This award supports the career development of an individual Pacific singer, musician or composer across all classical genres and career stages.
BENSON WILSON (based in London)
Born in West Auckland to Samoan parents and raised in South Auckland, baritone Benson Wilson is currently studying opera at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he is also being coached at the Royal Opera House. Winner of the prestigious NZ Lexus Song Quest 2016, Benson was the fallen soldier Schabernack in the London Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre in 2017. The same year he joined the Georg Solti Accademia, an annual summer course for young opera singers held in Tuscany, where he worked with bel canto repertoire specialists including Maestro Richard Bonynge, Corradina Caporello and Barbara Frittoli. He recently won the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award in Australia and made the finals of the Voice of Black Opera, an international competition that encourages diversity in the arts, which will take place in London on the 29th of October.