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.

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