16 Jun 2010

Hopes Tapa exhibition will inspire

10:01 am on 16 June 2010

A Pacific curator in New Zealand says he's aware that tapa making is a struggling artform in some places in the Pacific.

A tapa exhibition has been organised by the Art Gallery and Museum in Queensland, as well as Te Papa Museum in Wellington New Zealand.

The exhibition features 40 tapa pieces varying in colour and size from Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Hawai'i, Futuna, the Solomon and Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Te Papa's Senior Pacific Curator, Sean Mellon, says that this exhibition pulls together pieces collected from across the region.

"There are numerous Tongan groups throughout New Zealand but it is an artform teetering on the edge I think in some places. It's not as strong in Samoa. And in Niue it hasn't been practised for more than 100 years so I think its future is uncertain but shows like this build awareness and maybe people will be inspired to keep it relevant to their community."

Te Papa is presenting the exhibition which opens on Saturday and runs until September 12.