'O LA 'AITU LAITIITI
These works on paper, altered textile and spatial interventions interrogate notions of mourning, memory, erasure and silence. Drawing on gabbeh carpet and siapo barkcloth aesthetics, I reinscribe the memory of my family, and connect with mark making and spirituality from across Īrānzamin and Sāmoa Atoa. In this series, the drawings depict the loss of my grandparents and aunt, killed under tragic circumstances for their beliefs in 1983. I connect with the site of the father tongue: aleph, the first letter in the Pahlavi script of Middle Persian, spoken between 3rd-9th centuries BCE in pre-Islamic Īrānzamin.
Considering the ongoing oppression in situ, and the recent desecration of graves by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the works decry and mourn the impossibility of sharing cups of tea, growing old together, to reinscribe dignity in my grandparents' and aunt's memory. The motifs visualise these hidden stories, concealed traumas, and small spirits now remembered. The installation in 'O lā āitu lāitiiti We have always been here in Studio One Toi Tū's Cell Blocks attempts to keenly render the potentiality of silence in carceral spaces. Perhaps akin to those where my ancestors were captive before meeting their end. Alongside drawings of small spirits, near and far ancestors, lie lengths of cloth and a gabbeh carpet altered in homage to the Loimata o Apaula river through my own tear motif (see Loimata o Apaula series). A sacred water space for healing and solace at the foot of Mount Vaea, 'Upolu, this is where strands of loss and displacement meet in the liminal resting place of the exhibition, where silence and solace are inhabited.
Future Archaeology, curated by Toby Chapman
19 May-22 July 2016, Nexus Arts
30 October-12 December 2015, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
'O lā āitu lāitiiti We have always been here
International Artist Residency, Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust
4-11 Hui-tanguru February 2015, Studio One Toi Tū
'O lā āitu lāitiiti Those small spirits with Matthew Bray
15 October-1 November 2014, Rubicon ARI