Festival showcases rich culture of the Pacific

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Festival showcases rich culture of the Pacific
Discover the rich culture and customs of the Pacfic at Lalaga Pasifika, on at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre this Saturday.

This is Taranaki’s first ever Pacific cultural event and brings together a wide range of traditional and contemporary creative practices by Pacific artists. 

The free, full-day event is a chance for people to discover and experience art, dance, traditional tatau, weaving and lei making, and hear from the artists working in these fields.

 “The number of Pacific people in Taranaki is growing rapidly, up 37 percent between the 2013 and 2018 census to almost 1000,” says Gallery Director Zara Stanhope.

“We want to acknowledge Aoteraroa’s position as a Pacific nation and the Gallery’s role in supporting, showcasing and sharing contemporary art and artists and starting conversations about place and people,” Zara says.

The Gallery has worked with Creative New Zealand and Taranaki Vaimoana Charitable Trust to develop and deliver the event, which was initially to have been run in March but like many events, was postponed due to Covid restrictions.

Creative New Zealand funding has enabled the Gallery to work with Ngāmotu artist and community organiser Theresa Tongi to develop the programme and strengthen relationships between the Gallery and Taranaki’s Pasifika community and artists.

“Lalaga is a pan-Pacific concept meaning ‘to weave’ and this event is about bringing together the many different strands of Pasifika culture expressed through art forms – both traditional and contemporary, within our unique setting that is Taranaki,” says Theresa.

The programme for the day is as follows. Beyond the opening ceremony, all events are free and open to all:

Saturday 28 May 2022

11am  Ngāmotu Samoan Weavers demonstration

Traditional Samoan dance workshop with Ella Loheni-Stancil

Samoan Tatau demonstration with artist Tyla Vaeau

Collective exploration of Pacific bark cloth processes with makers of LAKA

Ngāmotu Samoan Weavers present lei making and crafts demonstrations, weaving of traditional iē toga

1pm  Samoan Siva dance workshop with Ella Loheni-Stancil

1.30pm  Free film: Marks of Mana - discover the ins and outs of the Samoan Tatau with this 55 min documentary

3pm  Talanoa – Open Artist Talk: Artists Tufuga Ta Tatau, Tyla Vaeau and Ella Loheni-Stancil have conversation around The Malu -   traditional female tatau (tattoo).