Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 2014


2nd Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF)
March 2014
Melbourne, Australia

The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) is an annual multi-disciplinary showcase of the creative talents of the Australian Pacific Arts Community.

The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 2014 will be taking place throughout the month of March 2014.

Through its diverse program, CPAF will share the unique stories of Pacific diaspora in Melbourne and more broadly Australia.

Workshops and satellite exhibitions will be held across different Melbourne locations with the two-day main event taking place at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, CPAF’s key partner organisation.

Lock in Friday 21st March for the CPAF Symposium and Opening night with an exhibition launch of Existence of Patterns and Saturday 22nd March for the big community day event Footscray Community Arts Centre.

There will also be a series of workshops taking place across Melbourne prior to the festival and satellite exhibitions.

Check out the CPAF Facebook page for more exciting programming and find out how you can be involved.

CPAF Symposium

Proposals for presentations are invited for the 2nd Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) being held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne, Australia from 21-22 March 2014.

The CPAF symposium brings together creative practitioners, community elders, academics and arts industry professionals whose work engages with the contemporary Pacific in a one-day symposium on the banks of the Maribyrnong river. We welcome proposals from a variety of disciplines and perspectives that will contribute to the symposium discourse.

Proposals are invited that address issues of contemporary art and culture of the Pacific through one of the following categories:

Theme 1: Contemporary Performing Arts Practices.
Theme 2: Pacific ways of knowing in contemporary contexts.
Theme 3: Contemporary Pacific visual art, film and animation.
Theme 4: Community arts and engagement.

Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):

• Activating Pacific collections in Australian museums and galleries;
• Community arts and self-determination;
• Contemporary Pacific adornment, fashion and design;
• Contemporary Pacific dance, music and performance;
• Contemporary Pacific tattoo;
• Curating Contemporary Pacific art;
• Intellectual property and traditional knowledge in the Pacific;
• Pacific art and activism;
• Pacific art education in Australian institutions;
• Pacific art and entrepreneurialism.
• Pacific oral traditions and contemporary spoken word;
• Representations of contemporary Pacific gender identities in art and literature.

Presentations may take the form of summaries or overviews of their work, and artists are invited to speak to examples of their practice. Presentations should be limited to 15 minutes and will be grouped according to topic or perspective into themed sessions. Time will be provided after all of the presentations for Q&A and group discussion.

Authors are welcome to include visual supports to assist delivery of their oral presentation. Please note that we cannot provide photocopying facilities at the symposium, but we will provide a data projector with audio capacity in the presentation theatre.

Submission deadline:
Abstracts (recommended length 150-200 words) must be received by Wednesday 12 February 2014. Notification of acceptance by Friday 21 February 2014. Email proposals to:

For more information on submitting your proposal and registering for the symposium, please visit Registration: $20 – waged/ $10 unwaged/conc.

Torika Bolatagici
CPAF symposium and literature coordinator

Pattern and Portraiture

This is an exciting opportunity for young people of Pacific Islander heritage aged 13-21 years. Its a cool workshop at Signal in the heart of the city for the first three Saturdays of March. Exhibitions included. Booking essential:


Source: CPAF Facebook page

Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 2013 – see highlights and interviews with CPAF Elder Aunty Sana Balai and ‘Meleponi Pasifika’ exhibition artists Torika Bolatagici and Salote Tawale sharing some insights into their contemporary arts practice and artwork on ABC Arts. And last years festival on Urban Viti.

Home Videos by Luisa Tora


Still from Home Videos by Luisa Tora (2013)

There are many films about the Pacific but hardly any from the point of view of Pacific Islander’s themselves, even more so from that of the LGBTIQ community.

Home Videos is a short film by Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Visual Arts student, Luisa Tora that follows on one day, three lesbians of Maori and Pacific descent “who live and love outside of central Auckland”.

Before moving to Auckland and becoming a fancy art student, Luisa Tora worked for not-for-profit organisations in Fiji and was involved in LGBTIQ activism and the feminist movement. Luisa’s arts practice is an extention of her activism, “her advocacy is often literally colourful, as she has long used her art and literary talent for her activism”. (

Home Videos responds to the dearth of stories about lesbians of colour in mainstream and LGBTIQ media in Auckland, the Pacific capital of New Zealand.

“This film is an attempt to represent a sub-culture of the gay community without any mediation or editing of the facts, and by doing so documenting and validating its existence,” says Luisa.

“When I came to Aotearoa four years ago, I sought out brown faces in the mainstream and LGBTIQ media in Auckland. I found them sometimes, but they weren’t as apparent as I’d expected and hoped they would be. So making this short film, with these women, where they live, is a response to this absence.”

Luisa plans to make a full-length documentary next year on the issues raised in Home Videos. She cheekily refers to this short film as “a practice run” for the documentary.

Home Videos (2013), directed by Luisa Tora. Featuring Molly Rangiwai- McHale, Sangeeta Singh and Luisa Tora.

Home Videos will be shown in Suva next month at A Night OUT at the Movies presented by Drodrolagi Movement, along with short films by New Zealand artists Tanu Gago, Leilani Kake and Sangeeta Singh.

Luisa’s short film The Homecoming (2008) made in Fiji ( will also be featured.

uv.dromo.outmovienightClick on poster to view details.

First Editions

First Editions is an exhibition of limited edition prints
by nine Fijian Artists at the
Australian Print Workshop Gallery in Melbourne

urbanviti.firsteditions.wasawasa‘Wasawasa’ [detail] linocut by Ben Fong

This exhibition showcases a selection of limited edition linocuts; the First Editions resulting from Australian Print Workshop’s collaboration with Artists associated with the Oceania Centre for the Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies located at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

Since the early 1990s, Australian Print Workshop has transported the workshop from its metropolitan Melbourne base, to locations around Australia and overseas.

The Workshop’s sustained engagement with Artists living in remote and regional communities has been far reaching, and led to the invitation for Australian Print Workshop staff to travel to Fiji to work with a core group of professional Artists associated with the Oceania Centre for the Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies.

Established in 1997 by Pacific philosopher and academic, the late Professor ‘Epeli Hau’ofa, the Oceania Centre’s visual arts community is made up of carvers, sculptors and painters.


Australian Print Workshop Printer Simon White conducting a printmaking workshop with Oceania Centre artists in Suva, Fiji

Prior to Australian Print Workshop’s association with the Centre, printmaking was not practiced. With a long tradition of carving and painted decoration, the art of Fiji Islanders translates beautifully to the graphic art of printmaking.

Australian Print Workshop first visited the Oceania Centre in May 2012, with the primary focus of overseeing and assisting in the establishment of a small printmaking facility at the Centre and to introduce the art of printmaking to local Artists.

In April 2013, Australian Print Workshop returned to conduct a follow-up workshop for Artists and to assist in the production of a body of work for public exhibition.

Exhibiting artists include: Esala Talebula Caucau, Tomasi Domomate, Ben Fong, Paula Ligairua, Nemani Nabalarua, Kamla Naidu, Josaia McNamara, Ledua Peni and Josua Toganivalu.

Ben Fong and Ledua Peni will be in Melbourne for the opening of their exhibition, and will spend two-weeks at Australian Print Workshop, working alongside the Workshop’s Printers to gain experience and to learn more about the technical aspects of fine art printing.

For those in Suva 2nd Edition Oceania Centre Prints exhibition is on until 16 August 2013 at the Gallery of Oceanian Art at the University of the South Pacific. Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm.

First Editions

10 August – 14 September 2013
Australian Print Workshop Gallery

Opening 2pm-4pm Saturday 10 August 2013

210 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

Gallery open Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm.




Source: Australian Print Workshop

#2girls1conference art auction

#2girls1conference Art Auction, a fundraising event to support Leilani Kake and Ema Tavola’s efforts to take Pacific arts from South Auckland to the world!

urbanviti.2girls1conference.auction2 girls + 1 conference = #RealTalk

Invited to speak at the Pacific Arts Association 11th International Symposium in Vancouver next month, Leilani Kake and Ema Tavola are presenting papers on grassroots curating, new media art making and Pacific audience engagement in South Auckland.

After a successful PledgeMe campaign, Leilani and Ema have drawn on their networks to contribute artworks for this unique and one-off event #2girls1conference Art Auction,  to support their travel and participation at the symposium.

This is an excellent opportunity to invest in works by New Zealand’s most exciting contemporary artists, all with a strong South Auckland connection.

With reserve on each lot set at $200 the #2girls1conference Art Auction features new and recent works by a diverse group of practicing artists. Works ranging from framed video stills, unframed photographic prints, painting, lithograph and digital prints to Czarina Wilson’s impressive one-off garment, “Maori Minx” made entirely out of a repurposed mink blanket and shown at 2011 Cult Couture Fashion Awards, there will be some very exciting purchases to be made on the night.

Each contributing artist has a relationship with South Auckland through exhibitions and projects, education and advocacy. Their work, all with a significant link to the dynamic South Auckland contemporary arts scene, can be found in public and private collections both nationally and internationally.

Artists include: Margaret Aull, Tanu Gago, Kerrie-Anne Van Heerden, Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Martin Langdon, Nicole Lim, Tepora Malo, Richard Orjis, Molly Rangiwai-McHale and Luisa Tora, Czarina Wilson, Ema Tavola, Benjamin Work and more! View the #2girls1conference Art Auction online catalogue here.

Ten limited edition ‘Real Talk’ art prints by Tepora Malo will also be auctioned.


#2girls1conference Art Auction

Te Karanga Gallery, First Floor, 208 Karangahape Road
Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday 25 July 2013
Registrations opens: 5.30pm  Auction begins: 6.30pm

Leilani Kake is a practising video installation artist and educator. Having exhibited broadly throughout New Zealand at venues including Auckland Art Gallery, City Gallery Wellington and Fresh Gallery Otara, Leilani has also featured in exhibitions in Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Taiwan and the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Auckland is currently completing a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching.

Ema Tavola is a freelance curator, writer and arts administrator. As the former Pacific Arts Coordinator for Manukau City Council (later Auckland Council), Ema was responsible for the management and curatorial leadership of Fresh Gallery Otara from 2006-2012. Having recently completed the delivery of a paper entitled, Pacific Art Histories: An Eccentric View at Manukau Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Arts, Ema is currently focusing on completing a Master of Arts Management degree at AUT University.

Sources: via #2girls1conference  Media Realease and

PACSOC Young Pacific Artists Program


The Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) is calling on young artists (20-30 years old) from the Pacific region to submit portfolios of their work. Successful applicants will then have selected works from their portfolio featured on the PacSoc blog alongside a brief profile of the artist and contact information for how the artist can be reached.

PacSoc recognizes that the rich cultural tapestry of the Pacific Islands region is producing talented young Pacific artists. Unfortunately, a lack of awareness for their work is preventing them from realizing their full potential on the world stage.

“There is not a lack of interest in Pacific Islands culture here in Europe but rather a lack of familiarity. By simply sharing art, music, food, and dance from the Pacific Island Countries, we can bridge the geographic divide that separates London and Suva. In so doing, we will not only foster the spread of Pacific Islands culture but also provide opportunities for cultural entrepreneurs like young artists to discover new markets for their creations.” Pacific Islands Society President Eddie Walsh

Over the next year, the Society will work to have the works of selected artists featured at a Pacific Artists: The Next Generation cultural event being planned for the spring of 2014 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

If you are interested in being considered for this opportunity, please forward a one-page expression of interest, 3-5 high-resolution photos of your best work, and any coverage that your art has received in your local media to by 17:00 GMT on 30 JUNE 2013.

The Pacific Islands Society is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting stronger people-people relations within the Pacific Islands region and beyond.

Pacific Artists: The Next Generation is one of the society’s programmes designed to empower young leaders in the Pacific Islands region.




Twitter: @PacIslandsSoc

Images courtesy of Pacific Islands Society

2013 Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival


2013 Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival

5-7 April 2013
Melbourne, Australia

The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) has been developed by Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Big Island Collective to bring together a series of events that showcase excellence in Pacific contemporary arts in Melbourne. This exciting cross artform event includes exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, a community day celebration, forums and much more!

Big Island Collective is a newly formed group of artists and arts practitioners living and creating in Melbourne. They have come together to co-curate and co-produce CPAF, bringing together artists from across the Pacific and Australia.

The CPAF 2013 program

Bilum-making workshops

6pm – 9pm every Thursday, 21 February – 4 April
The Jack Kennedy Room at Footscray Community Arts Centre
$35 for 7 workshops. BOOKED OUT

Learn to make your very own bilum, a traditional Papua New Guinea string bag, with Aunty Vicki Kinai.

Pacific Writing and Poetry Workshop

1pm – 5pm, Saturday 23 March
The Basement Theatre at Footscray Community Arts Centre

Pacific Islanders interested in writing, storytelling and the spoken word are invited participate.

New way – Te Ao Hurihuri open studio

Open studio 20 March – 4 April, exhibition 5 April – 5 May
Gabriel Gallery, Footscray Community Arts Centre

Niuean born artist Kui Taukilo and Maori weaver Shona Te Hau from Aotearoa (NZ) will create work during a 2 week open studio and resulting in an exhibition.

Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium


11am – 3pm Friday 5 April
The Performance Space at Footscray Community Arts Centre

Symposium Curated by Torika Bolatagici.

The CPAF forum series brings together critical thinkers, creative practitioners, academics and arts industry professionals whose work engages with the contemporary Pacific.

The program will include 3 discussion panels around the following themes;

11:30 – 1:00: Mobilizing Pasifika: Intersections of art, activism and community: Lia Pa’apa’a (Chair), Ronny Kareni, Airileke Ingram
Natalie Pa’apa’a, Nic Maclellan

2:00 – 3:30: Who Will Claim Me: Authenticity and identity in contemporary art of the Pacific diaspora:
Torika Bolatagici (Chair), Kirsten Lyttle, Jacob Tolo, Maryann Talia Pau
Léuli Eshraghi

4:00 – 5:30: Addressing the Archive: Pacific collections in Australian museums and galleries:
Namila Benson (Chair), Lisa Hilli, Sana Balai, Taloi Havini

Each panel discussion will run for 60 minutes and will conclude with 20-30 minutes audience Q&A.

Follow the CPAF Symposium here on Facebook.

Meleponi Pasifika

Friday 5 April- Sunday 21 April 2013
Roslyn Smorgon Gallery at Footscray Community Arts Centre

A multi-disciplinary exhibition showcasing a broad range of contemporary artists from Melbourne’s Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian communities.

Community Day

11am – 4pm, Saturday 6 April
Footscray Community Arts Centre

A family friendly event celebrating the coming together of diverse Pacific communities living right here in Melbourne.

SatelliteYouth Events

Story Weavers

uv.story.weaversStory Weavers will feature short films developed by young Pacific Islanders in Melbourne through a series of workshops run by Signal in Feb-Mar. The participants learn new skills in performing, using cameras, writing, directing, sound design, sound recording and editing.

Story Weavers is produced and facilitated by filmmakers Lisa Hilli, Robbie McEwan and George Samuels with support from Youthworx Media and Pacific Stories.

Story Weavers film premier will be the closing event for the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival.

Pacific Youth Filmmaking Project, February and March
Signal Youth Art Space

Pasifik Young Artists

Opening 6pm 9 April
Exhibition running 10 April – 27 April
Colour Box Studio

Pasifik Young Artists 2013 is a unique exhibition showcasing the emerging practice of Pasifik art and design students across artforms. Submissions open until Friday 26 March.

Festival Opening Night Launch

Friday 5 April 2013
6pm – 8pm
Roslyn Smorgon Gallery and Gabriel Gallery at Footscray Community Arts Centre

The launch of Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival and opening of exhibitions New way – Te Ao Hurihuri and Meleponi Pasifika.

Special tissu acrobatics performance by Natano Fa’anana, an opening address by Black Dot Gallery curator, Jacob Talo, Tongan dance by Josephine Inia, a performance of traditional and contemporary Polynesian rhtythms by Suga and delicious West Papuan food.

2013 Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival

5-7 April 2013
Melbourne, Australia


The Big Island Collective is: Sana Balai, Amie Batalibasi, Torika Bolatagici, Léuli Eshraghi, Lisa Hilli, Josephine Inia, Lia Pa’apa’a, George Samuels, Christine Sevita, Maryann Talia Pau, Jacob Tolo, Grace Vanilau and Pauline Vetuna.

For more information about the festival, visit the Footscray Community Arts Centre website and follow Big Island Collective on Facebook.

Tip: the words highlighted in colour take you on a journey of discovery…click away…

Source: Big Island Collective, vinaka Grace Vanilau, Léuli Eshraghi, Lia Pa’apa’a and Lisa Hilli.

Image credits:
1. Torika Bolatagici, 2013
2. ‘Mekameka Weave’ by Kirsten Lyttle, 2012
3. Robbie McEwan, 2012

Pasifika Film & Arts Festival


 20 June 2012 UPDATE: See for program and list of featured films.

The first Pasifika Film & Arts Festival hosted by Studio 2204 is on from Friday 21 June to Sunday 30 June 2013 as part of Open Marrickville 2013.

Submission for the Pasifika Film & Arts Festival is open to Pacific Islanders from Australia, as well as International submissions. The organisers are looking for entries for short films, docos, animation, photography and visual art pieces to be considered for the festival.

“I would strongly encourage Pacific Islander artists to put their hands up and get involved by submitting entries to the festival. We would definitely encourage as many artists from the Pacific community to get involved and represent themselves and their communities through their artwork.” ~ Kalo Fainu

Submissions due 10 MAY 2013. For more information phone + 61 2 8959 2110 or email or check the Pasifika Film & Arts Festival Facebook page here for updates.


PrintStudio 2204 was started by photographer/filmmakers Kalo Fainu and Tanja Bruckner and is a creative space in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney’s Inner West. The space is available for film, photography, workshops, exhibitions, events etc.

Kalo Fainu wrote, produced and directed The Tongans: Meet The Parents (2011), a film about a Tongan family living in suburban Sydney.

Since making the film, Kalo has been on the search for Pasifika films, filmmakers, story tellers and visual artists. The idea of hosting an event to showcase Pasifika film/photography and art has always sat in the back of her mind and when the opportunity to host one at the Open Marrickville 2013 came up, she jumped at it. The festival celebrates culture and diversity in Marrickville.

Tanja Bruckner is established fashion photographer and exhibited artist. Her commercial photography work has been published by numerous leading popular culture periodicals. She has an interest in the West Papua movement.

Last year Kalo and Tanja travelled to Papua New Guinea to shoot at the Morobe Agricultural show in Lae, and the Kenu and Kundu Festival (Canoe & Drum Festival) in Alotau.


Pasifika Film & Arts Festival

Open Marrickville 2013


The Tongans: Meet The Parents

Images courtesy of Kalo Fainu

Sia in Taro