WONTOK exhibition 21st April - 26th May / Mangere Arts Centre
Torika Bolatagici with Ayeesha Ash, Emele Ugavule, Lienors Torre, kei Thelma Thomas.
WANTOK is an exhibition of Melanesian artists living in Australia and Aotearoa. Artists are invited to present new works discussing de-colonialised views of beauty and mana. Curator Luisa Tora frames this invitation through the lenses of spirituality and symbolism associated with hair in Melanesian cultures. Several cultural observances regarding hair are related to rites of passage. As a traditional status symbol, hair styles and care denotes personal mana and desirability. In this context, WANTOK is a Tok Pisin (Pidgin English) word referencing people with a shared set of Melanesian cultural values. The exhibition is the third project in a year-long exhibition series focusing on women artists of Māori and Pacific descent to mark the 125th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Aotearoa.
Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku cnr Bader Drive & Orly Avenue, Mangere.
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Photo credit: Jasmine Togo-Brisby, 'Post-Plantation, 2017' Lightbox, 1650 x 1240mm