14 Feb 2021

Tongan tapa-making in a lockdown bubble

From Standing Room Only, 2:10 pm on 14 February 2021

In the Coronavirus era, the word "bubble"  has come to mean safety and sanctuary.  But can bubbles also be cages, forcing families apart?

This is one of the ideas explored by mother and daughter, New Zealand-based Tongan ngatu or tapa artists Sulieti Fieme'a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies.

They're about to reveal a collection of large-scale tapa they worked on together, during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns here in in Aotearoa New Zealand.

They call it Voyagers: The Niu World, and in it they reflect on the idea of navigating a changed world that's in the middle of a pandemic.

Sulieti moved in with Tui during the lockdown, and Lynn Freeman asked how they remember that time:

Voyagers: The Niu World opens this Saturday at  Tautai Gallery in Auckland.