7 Sep 2017

Pacific Artist in Residence awarded to Fijian curator

1:13 pm on 7 September 2017

South Aucklander Ema Tavola is the first curator to have been awarded a Pacific Artist in Residence opportunity at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

Ema Tavola

Ema Tavola Photo: Supplied

The three month Macmillan Brown Centre residency is supported by Creative New Zealand and has been offered annually since 1996 for artists to develop their artistic practice and promote indigenous art.

Ms Tavola who was born in Fiji studied in Auckland and curated at Otara's Fresh Gallery for over six years.

She has now started her residency.

Ms Tavola said she wanted to look at how curating was a mechanism for social inclusion and she plans to examine decolonisation and exhibition-making as a form of activism.

"Well I thought I would come here and take the opportunity to write and think and research around the practise that I have about a Pacific curator, who is very interested in curating Pacific art. But also in the space between Pacific audiences and Pacific art, so really what are the dynamics ? What are the principles around that space? "

Previous recipients include Fatu Fe'uu, Victor Rodger, and Tusiata Avia.

Last year's Pacific artist in residence, John Ioane, carved eleven miniature canoes from around the Pacific.