A product of migration and colonialism, she has Fijian (vasu Bua, Kadavu and Rewa), Danish, Spanish, Filipino, American, Irish, Irish American, English, Norwegian, and Chinese ancestry.
This mixed heritage has influenced Dulcie’s arts practice. Her creative works have tried to understand, embrace, accept and acknowledge her other(ness). She examines her journey as a minority, and the experiences of migration and diaspora.
As a family historian, she’s interested in fragmented identities and explores mixed race stories, documenting the undocumented and making archival material accessible.
Dulcie’s work explores and celebrates relationships between visual culture and contemporary Pacific identities through symbols and iconography in her urban environment.
“…[Dulcie] speaks of her ability to see Pacific motifs as they appear in the built urban environment. Her conceptual approach relies heavily on the repetition of geometric shapes and lines and when viewed together as a typology the viewer is reminded of the bold patterns that are common to Fijian masi and wood carvings.”
Torika Bolatagici, Artist + Educator
Dulcie was one of the founding members of Red Wave Collective (1998 – 2001) based at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (formally Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture) at The University of the South Pacific under the guidance of Professor Epeli Hau’ofa.
Red Wave Collective, 1999. Standing: Dulcie Stewart, Rusiate Lali, Alma Wright. Sitting: William Bakalevu, Ben Fong, Josua Toganivalu, Meli Laddpeter and Maciu Bolaitamana. Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture,USP, Suva, Fiji. Photo courtesy of Josua Toganivalu.
an/other oceania (2010-2011)
Series of 12 digital prints
Individual prints: 254mm x 254mm
an/other oceania are a series of digital prints inspired by i see oceania, an online image gallery curated by Dulcie Stewart that documents Pacific motifs in an urban environment.
Since moving to Australia in 2005, Dulcie has had this longing for Oceania and kept seeing Pacific linkages/influences/images in her landscape. She started documenting her finds with her camera and phone and began publishing them online in 2010.
The use of geometric designs and repetitive linear lines is prominent in traditional (like tatau, tapa, woven mats, adornments etc.) and contemporary Pacific art.
In an/other oceania Dulcie interprets these geometric and linear lines in buildings, public transport, bridges, iconic structures, pylon, man holes, drainage grates, even shadows. She explores the relationship between visual culture and contemporary Pacific identities through symbols and iconography in her urban environment in Australia and New Zealand.
an/other oceania was first exhibited at the Pacific Storms 2011 exhibition, Logan Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia and later that year at the opening of the Gallery of Oceanian Art at USP in Suva. The exhibition featured some of the artists that have been associated with the Oceania Centre since it’s humble beginnings in 1997.
Fijian in Brisbane
Fijian in Brisbane (2011)
Fijian tapa, manhole, Hipstamatic iPhone app.
A product of migration and colonialism, visual artist Dulcie’s non-Fijian ancestors arrived in Fiji between 1809 and the 1940s. She has Fijian (vasu Bua, Kadavu and Rewa), Danish, Spanish, Filipino, American, Irish, English, Norwegian, and Chinese ancestry.
Growing up in Fiji, Dulcie was either part-European, kailoma, half-caste, part-Chinese, a General voter, an Other. It was only after moving to Brisbane in 2005 that she was identified as being Fijian.
While contextualising the narratives of her Fijian/white/Asian mixed heritage against forced labels and identity, Fijian in Brisbane is a visual interpretation of personal narratives; it explores the questions of her identity, both questions of her own and that of others.
Using tapa (Fijian bark cloth) she explores the relationship between visual culture and contemporary Pacific identities through symbols and iconography in her urban environment in Australia.
She outlines with tapa, the geometric lines on a manhole which has Brisbane written on it. When repeated, the image shows a repetition of geometric shapes and lines which pays homage to Fijian tapa motifs and patterns on a woven pandanas mat.
Fijian in Brisbane was part of Diasporadic679. DIASPORADIC679 was a public exhibition in Otahuhu, South Auckland, New Zealand, of Fiji artists living in diaspora. Timed to acknowledge Fiji Independence Day and pay homage to the Fiji telephone prefix, +679, the artists reflect on Fiji Islander identity and diaspora experience from seven diverse positions.
vasu – Fijian maternal links
kailoma – in a colonial context someone of mixed European/Fijian ancestry. Translated it means to belong in the middle.
General voter – the voting system in Fiji (pre-coup d’état 2006) was based on ethnicity. People voted according to race, either as an indigenous Fijian or Indo-Fijian. The ‘others’ were bunched together as General Voters. This included ethnic minorities, such as Europeans, Chinese, Banaban Islanders, as well as multiracial people.
2010 – Present
i see oceania, an online image gallery curated by Dulcie Stewart http://iseeoceania.tumblr.com/
diasporadic679, Southside Arts Festival, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
Opening of the Gallery of Oceanian Art, University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, Fiji
Pacific Storms, Logan Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia
Vasu : Pacific Women of Power, Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture (OCAC), USP (23 September – 27 September); Fiji Museum, Suva, Fiji (1 October – 31 October)
International Art Experiment: a benefit for nervousness.org, Zeitgeist Art Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA
Red Wave group exhibition, James Harvey Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Australia Youthful Art Expressions on HIV/AIDS, STIs, Sexuality, Empowerment and Youth, AIDS Taskforce Ellery Street Drop-In Centre, Suva, Fiji
Red Wave group exhibitions, OCAC, USP, Suva, Fiji
Papermaking Exhibition, OCAC, USP, Suva, Fiji
University of the South Pacific
Yasawa Island Resort
Workshops Attended at Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture, Suva, Fiji
2001 Print workshop by John Pule
1999 Art workshop by Teweariki Teaero
1998 Art workshop by John Pule; Art workshop by Griffith University; Papermaking workshop by Sofia Tekela-Smith
2011 DIASPORADIC679 exhibition catalogue; Pacific Storms 2011 exhibition catalogue
2008 Vasu: Pacific Women of Power exhibition catalogue
2004 Art in your Pocket: Small Art, Big Pictures / Andreas Duess
2001 Eating Mangoes / Mohit Prasad (Book cover based on paintings and photographs)
Fiji. Art AsiaPacific Almanac. Volume VII 2012
DIASPORADIC679: a treasure hunt of art. SPASIFIK magazine, November/December 2011
Haven’t I seen that design somewhere? Drum Pasifika, Issue 3, August 2011
Canvassing Dulcie Stewart. Drum Pasifika, Issue 1, June 2011
Radio Australia interview with Isabelle Genoux. 29 June 2011
Artful Dodger: The ‘Big Island’ in the Pacific. Zeplin, Pamela. Art Monthly Australia, Issue 232, August 2010
Urban Viti documents contemporary Pacific art, fashion, home and product design.
It features interviews, DIY projects, information about exhibitions, performances and events, and design finds from rugs to jewellery.
Urban Viti is archived by The National Library of New Zealand and has been selected for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials.
i see oceania curated by Dulcie Stewart is an online image gallery that documents Pacific motifs in an urban environment.
Fragmented Identities: the journey of a kailoma is a family history research blog.
broken coconut where Dulcie tumblrs.
“We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood” ~ Teresia Teaiwa