When attending a Tuvaluan event, women can often be found working together on their kolose or crochet, reflecting the cultural environment where Pacific people grow up in, with no separation between art, culture and life.
Kolose is one of the key art forms practiced by Tuvalu women in Aotearoa New Zealand, as it is back in their homeland.
Kolose - the Art of Tuvalu Crochet, which was held at the Mangere Arts Centre in 2014 was the first Tuvalu exhibition in a mainstream art gallery. The concept and practice of exhibitions, however, is not foreign to the Tuvalu community who regularly exhibit and display their works in various cultural contexts.
It is an important aspect of Tuvalu culture and Kolose is often worn to church, on special occasions, as part of female dance costumes and as casual wear. They are gifted during special occasions and used to add a unique Tuvaluan décor. This demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between art and culture in Tuvaluan life.
Kolose: The Art of Tuvalu Crochet by Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa at Miharo Murihiku in Invercargill.
The exhibition opening + interactive community programming was part of Polyfest 2019 by Miharo.
This year marked the 10th anniversary for the event, attracting upwards of 30,000 people from the Southland region! Check out some of the exhibition and the opening below.