Arts on Sunday for Sunday 13 January 2013
The Evolution of Samoan Tattoo
Beauty has a cost, and in this case it’s incredibly painful. For two weeks the art of Samoan traditional and contemporary tattoo is being performed live at the Wellington City Gallery for all to see as part of an exhibition 'Sui faiga ae tumau fa’avae'. For the gallery it’s all about acknowledging the living art form as part of New Zealand’s Pacific art history, and recognising the evolution of the traditional as it moves into the contemporary, where the urban environment and hip-hop culture plays a part in young tattoo artists making sense of their Samoan heritage. Sonia Sly meets the artists from Taupoutatau studio who have been invited to take part in the exhibition and the Samoa-based master tattooist Su’a Paul Junior Sulu’ape whose skills are sought by those from near and far.
Left: Graffitti artist, MC and tattoo artist Juice One. Right: Tattoo artist Tuingamala Andy Tauafiafi with Angela Meyer-Blacksmith of the CIty Gallery. Andy Tauafiafi has a background in fine arts, contemporary dance and fashion design which eventually culminated in a career in tattooing.
The art of traditional Samoan tattoo tatau in action performed by Master Paul Junior Sulu'ape. Photo: Tala Suailua
This stunning singer songwriter of Scottish, Jewish, Italian and Maori heritage has something to say. Ariana Tikao performs in te reo Māori and English and draws on folk and pop styles with a strong emphasis on Māori chant. Sonia Sly finds out how Ariana found her ‘voice’ and the importance of contributing to a New Zealand landscape that has yet to become truly bi-cultural ahead of her .
What does it take to tell inspiring stories that have the potential to shape attitudes and transform the future? Guy Ryan, CEO for Inspiring Stories Charitable Trust, believes that film making is the key. He set up the trust to provide a platform for young people around the country to learn about the importance of storytelling, so that they can tackle 21st Century issues head-on, using the lens of the camera as a vehicle for positive action and social change. Sonia Sly attends a workshop in Wellington to find out more.
Inspiring Stories Workshop, image courtesy of inspiring Stories Charitable Trust
Fan Art Swap
If you've ever liked the idea of having your portrait done and you have a whacky sense of humour then getting involved in a fan art swap could be just for you. But in order to get some love you have to give some love. You don't have to be a celebrity (be it that that's one of the origins of fan art - see Justin Bieber fan art) and it doesn't require any level of artistic skill, just a bit of imagination, a touch of madness and some postage stamps to send it off on its way. Sonia Sly finds out more when she speaks to graphic designer/ fan art swapper and lover Kalee Jackson whose blog www.loveyourwork.org came out of her desire to connect with others.
Helen Howard's portrait of Kalee, 2008 felt pen on paper
Illustrator and author - Ben Galbraith
Gisborne-based Ben Galbraith doesn’t quite paint by numbers but by what he reads on the tube. That’s because he’s colour blind. Not that this ever stopped him from picking up the colours that he can’t even see. He’s the author and illustrator of award-winning children’s book The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff, a project that launched his career almost six years ago, catching the eye of UK publishers. Sonia Sly was curious to meet him to find out how the children’s book industry works, and to hear about his international collaborations.
Images courtesy of Ben Galbraith