25 Sep 2016

Maverick art club in Tonga wins over critics

From Standing Room Only, 2:49 pm on 25 September 2016
Tevitu's Art Group

Tevitu's Art Group Photo: supplied

It's taken eight years – and some stubborn determination – but a maverick art club in Tonga is winning over its conservative community.

The Se-le-kā Club started in Nuku'alofa back in 2008. It has now become into a safe haven for vulnerable young people and a place for young artists to experiment with techniques and materials. But their work ran into resistance from a number of older Tongans, who worried that traditional artforms were under threat.

Lynn Freeman asks two of the club's members - co-founder Tevita Lātū and publicist Virginie Dourlet - what its first group of young artists wanted to draw.