The Nix, Grey Lynn is playing host to a collective of Samoan women artists in an exhibition called Queen Fiapoto.
They'e only open for a couple more days so you'll need to get down there asap! In the meantime find out more about the exhibition and why you should check it out below ...
What is the Queen Fiapoto exhibition and how did it come about?
Malae Collective is a collective of multidisciplinary Samoan women artists who are daughters of transitions between Aotearoa and Samoa. Queen Fiapoto is our first exhibition and introduction as Malae Collective. We used this exhibition as an opportunity to masi’i, a gift in the form of a si'i to the art world/space our practises.
Our practice and Malae is a va, a blank canvas where we create together to make sense of our worlds. Queen Fiapoto is the travelling vessel that Malae are frequent passengers on, where we gift and invite other passengers to come aboard and let go of romanticised notions of paradise, of diaspora, of ties, of gafa, migration patterns, distance, life cycles and roots.
The first spiritual plane Queen Fiapoto travels to is to the simplicity of existence.
Who are the artists involved and what are their preferred art mediums?
Elena Folau - Photography
Lokelani Folau - Multimedia Artist
Eseta Le’au - Poet
Karita Siakisini - Jewellery maker + Illustrator
Lefaataualofa Totua - Multimedia Artist
Is there a story behind the name of the exhibition Queen Fiapoto?
Queen Fiapoto plays homage to the Queen Poto buses back home in Samoa. From us being frequent passengers of these bright pasi’s, and the stories we share with our mothers and their nostalgic memories of the iconic Queen Poto buses.
Queen Fiapoto alludes to the artists in Malae being rightful Fiapotos, in the sense that we can be seen as ‘playing God’ almost by creating these new realms of realities.
The magic Queen Fiapoto bus is the metaphoric va where not only Malae artists respond to the transitory nature of our realities, but also inviting and giving bus tickets to those who step into it to do that same. It is our malae, our space in motion.
Why do you think it's important to uplift specifically Pacific women in the art space?
It is important because we Pacific women are multifaceted. The leaders, the protectors, the nuturers, the carers, the ka’as, the rightful fiapotos.
Pacific women stay providing and can continue to give this different lens of realms and knowledge that hold great power.
When we uplift Pacific Women, we are uplifting Pacific people.
What do you hope people will take away after viewing the exhibition?
For us, we hope that the passengers who were there on the opening night, and those who come throughout the week will understand that there is not one Samoan definition of existence.
We share this beautiful heritage and collectively share many things in common, but we also have unique insights into how we each identify with what and how existing looks to us.
As self-proclaimed shy fiapoto women, creating these works, planning our opening night and sharing it, has in its own way been a healing process. We want this to be felt, as passengers on the Queen Fiapoto.
We did what and how, we knew how to plan this exhibiton that reflected heavily in our Samoan values and upbringing. We wanted people to come to our exhibition and feel welcome, catered to, and at home - like it’s just another toona’i with the family.
This is what existing is to us. It is the first stop, the first destination of the Queen Fiapoto. Keep a look out for where we travel to next.
Exhibition dates and times for the rest of the week/weekend below via the Malae.co instagram page: