Maketi Ples 2013


The third Maketi Ples was held from 20 February – 10 March 2013 at Global Gallery in Paddington, Sydney.

Maketi Ples – from the Samoan word for ‘market’ and the Tokpisin word for ‘place’ – is an exhibition and marketplace featuring the fine works of Pacific Island artists and artisans.

An initiative of Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, Maketi Ples has emerged as the most significant event in Australia showcasing and selling Pacific arts and crafts outside the islands region.

Giles Peterson, a curator on the selection panel for Maketi Ples, says the exhibition is attracting interest from across the globe.

“There is a lot of international interest in this exhibition as well, not just in Australia and New Zealand and the South Pacific, but further, into the United States and in Europe. Maketi Ples has now become a significant event on the cultural calendar internationally, raising a lot of international interest by curators working around the world in the area of contemporary Pacific arts.” ~ Giles Peterson

This year’s Maketi Ples featured 37 artists and artisan from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and The Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Events such as Maketi Ples are a crucial step in the support of the creative arts in the Pacific region. By investing in the promotion of the Pacific arts, the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest is promoting the placement of a contemporary value on the traditional knowledge and expressions of culture of the Pacific communities. Since its inaugural show in 2011 Maketi Ples has introduced Pacific artists to the Australian art scene.

During Maketi Ples 2011, bilum-wear by Florence Jaukae Kamel was recognised as an important statement of gender empowerment by the Australian Museum and was acquired by the museum for its Pacific Collection. Later that year, the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane acquired one of Jaukae Kamel’s bilum-wear. This dress was exhibited at the Threads: Contemporary Textiles & the Social Fabric at GOMA (1 October 2011 – 5 February 2012), another milestone acquisition for Jaukae Kamel by an Australian institution.

Florence Jaukae Kamel, Managing Director of Jaukae Bilum Products, is a well-respected Papua New Guinea bilum artist and founder of the Bilum FestivalJaukae Kamel has been at the forefront of the rapidly growing reinterpretation of the twist and loop technique into a contemporary art form – billum-wear.


Tongan Kato Kafa (basket) weaver and coconut fibre artist Sioni Maileseni’s Kato Kafa (2011) and Kato Alu (2012) were also acquired by the Australian Museum.



1. Tïvaevae from the Cook Islands by Mi’i Quarter 2. woven baskets from Marshall Islands 3. purses from the Ömie Artists Inc 4. Malo Marita and Plantation House

5. Setu-Masina- Alae, girclee print by Samoan artist Vanya Taule’alo 6. Florence Jaukae Kamel in front of bilim bags from Papua New Guinea 7. Sepik face, acrylic on paper by PNG artist Anna Kawage 8. wood and stone carvings by Ralph Ako, Solomon Islands

9. Purses from Plantation House 10. Tongan coconut fibre, rib & leaf fan by Sioni Maileseni 11. hand painted textiles by Franny Do’oro, Solomon Islands 12. Trobriand dancers, acrylic on canvas by PNG artist Martin Morububuna

13. Tongan artist Tevita Latu 14. Buldoza klirim bus lon LNG projek, acrylic on canvas by PNG artist Andrew Kauage 15. woven baskets from Marshall Islands 16. some of the artists on a trip to the Australian Museum

Family Day (23 February) : A family day was also organised at the gallery, where the artists and artisans spoke  about their art practice, the state of the art scene in their countries of origin and hopes and aspirations about their participation in Maketi Ples.

Among the artists that spoke were Lalovai Peseta, Vanya Taule’alo Gallery, Chris Kawage, Ralph Ako, Frances Do’oro, Mi’i Quarter, Tevita Pola’apau, Sione Maileseni, Stanley Pesaro and Florence Kamel.

Artists Florence Jaukae Kamel demonstrated Bilum making, while Sione Maileseni showed the visitors coconut fibre weaving.

Tattoo demonstrations/sessions by Samoan artist Lalovai Peseta were also held and due to popular demand, a third and last session was organised. Peseta tattooed Florence Jaukae Kamel on her right arm her signature design – Skin Pik, a weave pattern she uses in her bilum-wear colleciton. You can view the tattoo here.

Over the next three years, PT&I plan to extend the exposure of Pacific arts and crafts geographically with the possibility of hosting multiple events in a year at various locations in Australia and in other countries as well.

“So far it has been an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience for Pacific arts, artists and artisans. We would like to see more artists from the entire region benefit from it.” Caleb Jarvis, PT&I Australia Trade Commissioner

2013 Maketi Ples Artists and Artisans:

Cook Islands: Kay George; Mi’i Quarter

Fiji: Alifereti Malai; Abraham Lagi

Papua New Guinea: Jimmy Amamao (Annie’s Pottery); Malolo Prints; Florence J Kamel; Martin Morububuna; Laben Sakale John; Johannes Gulag; Chris Kauage; Kauage Family: Elisabeth, Andrew, Michael, Anna; Ömie Artists Inc; Agnes Posanai (Tarebo Arts); Stanley Pesero and James Kuri (Enga Cultural Centre)

Samoa: Plantation House; The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery – Vanya Taule’alo, Lalovai Peseta, Kili Luaipolu, Beau Rasmussen, Isabelle Staron-Tutugoro, Chuck Feesago, Fatu Feu’u, Jeff Lockhart, Wong Chiu Tuipoloa, Lily Loita

Solomon Islands: Franny Do’oro; Ralph Ako

Tonga: Sione Maileseni; Tevita Latu; Sione Tu’avao; Ti Pola’apau

The Republic of the Marshall Islands: Elefa Handicraft Shop

Maketi Ples 2013

20 February – 10 March 2013
Global Gallery, 5 Comber St, Paddington, NSW, Australia


Maketi Ples 

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest


Maketi Ples Note: this is not a Facebook Page but a Profile page.

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest

Twitter: @MaketiPles

Photos available online of Maketi Ples:

PT&I website

PT&I Facebook Maketi Ples Photo Album

Vanya Taule’alo Gallery’s Facebook page have a few Photo Albums from Maketi Ples

Sources: Maketi Ples; Pacific Islands Trade & InvestSamoan Observer; Ruth Choulai, Creative Arts Program Manager, PT&I. Images via PT&I and Maketi Ples websites and Facebook pages/profiles.

i spy {tapa}

I get excited when I see tapa in a non-Pacific setting. Does anyone play spot the tapa on TV? A few programs I’ve seen have tapa in the background and by a few I mean one but for the life of me I can’t remember which Australian show it was.


via Design FilesPhoto – Brooke Holm, Production – Lucy Feagins

Featured on Design Files, Kirsty Davey  has Fijian tapa hanging in her guest bedroom. She bought the tapa from Lost Ark, an antique store in Melbourne.


via euroform : kitchens + furniture

And how stirking is this Tongan tapa that is used as side panel for this kitchen island. The timber work top was sourced from the Pacific Islands too.

More i spy {tapa} here.

Colour Box Studio {POP UP SHOP}

On Wednesday 7 November, Colour Box Studio in Footscray – Melbourne’s newest Artist Run Space – will LAUNCH it’s FIRST initiative – a POP UP SHOP showcasing art & designs made by Melbourne artists.

Colour Box Studio is a multifunctional pop up art space in Footscray and was founded by craftster, and full-time filmmaker Amie Batalibasi.

Colour Box Studio is a new artist run space in Melbourne’s West with a difference, the space will change month to month to showcase Melbourne’s creative community and represent a diverse range of artforms.

Artists/Labels at Pop Up Shop:  Aacute, Able And Game, AK Adornments, Ambette, Ceramic Relief, Charlotte Filshie Jewellery, Hannakin, Leaf Mugs, Little Bubalishka, Milk and Cookies, New Model Beauty Queen, North St. Flowers, Pacific Womens Weaving Circle, Pretty WAK, Red Bird Handmade Homewares, Studio 941, twotreehouse, Wood Be Good.

The opening will feature:
Star Weaving Workshops with Maryann Talia Pau for the 1 Million Stars to End Violence project.
Meet the artists
Music performance by Grace Vanilau
Pop Up Fashion Show by New Model Beauty Queen

The Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop will incorporate a series of workshop run by participating artists. Check out the Colour Box Studio website here for more details.

Colour Box Studio POP UP SHOP

SHOP GRAND OPENING Wednesday 7 November, 2012 from 5:00pm onwards. Lucky Door & Raffle Prizes

Colour Box Studio
236 Nicholson St, Footscray VIC 3011
Phone: 0434 957 313

Pop Up Store Opens from 8 November  – 5 December, 2012

Monday & Tuesday 10-6pm ; Wednesday – Saturday 12pm-6ish

Colour Box Studio on the Kokonut Wireless:

Facebook Event:

Source and Image courtesy of Colour Box Studio

Etsy finds {Hawaiian Quilts}

Hawaiian quilting derives from the kapa moe, a traditional bed cover made from kapa textile. Kapa is the Hawaiian tapa made from the inner bark of local trees. Traditional kapa was beaten and felted, then dyed in geometric patterns.

Hawaiian quilts have distinctive quilting styles that usually have stylised botanical motifs.


Ulu (breadfruit) design in dark green on a tan background from kauaikwilts.  The edges are unfinished so this can turned into a pillow, wall hanging or incorporated into a larger piece.

$US48.00 (excludes postage) from kauaikwilts.


Anthurium pattern in maroon on a pale pink (like the colour of a seashell) background from AllAloha. This was hand quilted in the 1980′s by the sellers grandmother, Lucille. She was a master quilter from the island of Maui.

$US55.00 (excludes postage) from AllAloha.

Etsy is a unique shopping website focused on handmade gifts, apparel and accessories. Etsy is dedicated to connecting artists and designers who create fabulous things with the people who want to buy them. For more Etsy finds click here.

vale ni style : {Mario Basilio}

who: Mario Basilio, Store Manager for Va Bene, an Italian wine and gourmet store in Suva

affiliations: Rotuma/Fiji

fan: Handmade woven dried coconut leaves fan by my mother is my identity accessory.

home decor: This art piece mirror by George Evans of Smashing Art Fiji was a house warming gift. I love the fact that he glues the broken mirror on the edges as deco. He never reveals to me the secret of how he does that. So it’s like a mystery mirror.

jewellery: I had my ear pierced in Sydney about four years ago and its one of those ear holes where you have to stretch so it took me awhile to get the size I wanted. The earring was a gift. The piece is a handmade black coral, oblong in shape with an open end.

clothes: I love bright and loud personality in clothes. The AX Armani Exchange pink cashmere sweater was a gift from Samson Lee to compliment my personality. The scarf was a thrift store find here in Suva – also by AX Armani Exchange. I love it because of the mixture of colours and print, and also the fine detailed ruffles on the edge.

Vale ni style means ‘house of style’ in Fijian. This Urban Viti column features stylish Pasifika guests who give us a glimpse into their closets and homes. Check  out more vale ni style’s here.

{{vale ni style}}

Vale ni style means ‘house of style’ in Fijian.

Inspired by Oh Joy’s Closet & Casa column, this new Urban Viti post series will feature stylish Pasifika guests who will give us a glimpse into their closets and homes.

Stay tuned for the first vale ni style with a fashion design student who is also a contributing writer for a New Zealand online magazine.

In the meantime, have a look at my previous blog post Pasifika styles | Mustard + tapa, which features my tapa shoes and Hawaiian pua styled mustard skirt in the above photo.

Woven leather magic

I’m loving these hand-woven leather pillows from LanceWoven. Don’t they look like woven pandanus mats! Loving the colour combinations and names as well – the one above on the right is called British Invasion Pomegrante!

LanceWoven leather pillows : Hudson-Princess; Normandy-Tahiti; Watercolor-Sky; Bling bling-Bronze; The Hadley-Storm; Hudson-Luggage