The Veiqia Project Exhibition is now open at AUT’s St Pauls St Gallery Three as a result of the journey of seven women reconnecting with a ‘sleeping’ practice.
The exhibition boasts the artwork of five contemporary artists from Australia and New Zealand which were developed from 12 months of research and museum visits, in the hope of further understanding Veiqia – the practice of female tattooing in Fiji.
The Project is about reawakening ourselves as Fijian women, says curator Tarisi Sorovi-Vunidilo.
“The exhibition highlights a process each artist took to learn more about Veiqia, an ancient practice that is part of the rite of passage for young girls before they become a woman,” says Ms Sorovi-Vunidilo, “It reminds us of our role in Fijian society and reaffirms our place in our family.”
Artist Donita Hulmes says she only heard the word Veiqia a year ago.
“What came to me was the question – Why don’t we know about this? – This project now gives me hope that we can put the practice back into light and give the names back to our great-grandmothers.”
Artist Joana Monolagi says this is not the end for the Project.
“This has opened up a lot of our personal life as a Fijian woman and who knows where this will take us.”
The Veiqia project is supported by AUT’s Office of Pacific Advancement.
“Pacific communities across the world have a wealth of Pacific artistic talent,” says AUT Head of Pacific Advancement Walter Fraser, “We are pleased to be a part of helping showcase this diverse talent.”
The exhibition will be at the St Paul Street Gallery Three from March 16-26, and is aligned with the Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium.
Margaret Aull, Luisa Tora, Dulcie Stewart, Donita Hulmes, Joana Monolagi
Tarisi Sorovi-Vunidilo and Ema Tavola.
15-26 March, 2016
St Pauls St Gallery Three