“…[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
Urban Viti was created by Brisbane based Dulcie Stewart who was born in Suva, Fiji. A library technician by profession, Dulcie is also an artist, blogger, and family historian specialising in Fiji research, covering European contact prior to cession (1800-1874).
A product of migration and colonialism, she has Fijian (vasu Bua, Kadavu, Rewa and Bau), Danish, Spanish Mexican, Filipino, American, Irish, Irish American, English, and Chinese ancestry.
This mixed heritage has influenced her artistic practice; and her role as a family historian and ongoing investigations into place, belonging, memory and identity.
Working with digital images and the manipulation of photography on a mobile phone, her juxtaposed images move between abstract and figurative representation of contemporary Fijian identities.
The use of geometric designs and repetitive linear lines is prominent in traditional (like tatau, tapa, woven mats, adornments etc.) and contemporary Pacific art. Dulcie’s arts practice explores and celebrates the relationships between visual culture and contemporary Fijian identities through Fijian symbols, motifs and iconography found in her Australian urban landscape.
Her digital images explore questions of identity, both her own and that of others. In Fijian in Brisbane (2011, digital image) she contextualizes the narratives of her Fijian/white/Asian mixed heritage against forced labels and identity; it is a visual interpretation of personal narratives.
Dulcie co-founded the Red Wave Collective, an artist collective based at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at The University of the South Pacific (USP). The Collective was formed in 1997 after a workshop by New Zealand based Niuean artist John Pule, under the guidance of Centre Director, Pacific philosopher and academic, the late Professor ‘Epeli Hau’ofa.
i see oceania is an online digital series that documents found Pacific motifs and iconography in a non-Pacific urban landscape and the Pacific diaspora in Australia and New Zealand. These Pacific linkages in the captured landscape evoke memories of home and belonging. http://iseeoceania.tumblr.com/
The Middle: fragmented identities is an online archival art and research project that documents the use of the identity descriptors half-caste, Part-European and kailoma from the 19th century to the present day. These words have been used to label the descendants of the early European settlers and indigenous Fijian women. By documenting the use of these words in published and archival materials, the artist hopes to map and understand the complex narratives of mixed heritage and identity in post-colonial Fiji. Project has a projected end of 2016 launch date.
Urban Viti documents contemporary Pacific art, fashion, home and product design. Urban Viti is archived by The National Library of New Zealand and has been selected for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. http://www.urbanviti.wordpress.com/
2016 – upcoming
Fish Hooks and Moving Trees, Bundaberg Regional Galleries, Bundaberg, Australia (3 Feb 2016 – 3 Apr 2016)
The Veiqia Project, St Paul St Gallery 3, Auckland, New Zealand (15-26 March 2016)
Both Sides of the Street, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Fish Hooks and Moving Trees, BEMAC, Brisbane, Australia
Digital Natives: Return to Paradise, Fringe Festival, Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
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. Page 115-116.
DIASPORADIC679: a treasure hunt of art. SPASIFIK magazine, November/December 2011. Page 76-77.
Haven’t I seen that design somewhere? Drum Pasifika, Issue 3, August 2011.
Radio Australia interview with Isabelle Genoux. 29 June 2011.
Canvassing Dulcie Stewart. Drum Pasifika, Issue 1, June 2011. Page 20.
Artful Dodger: The ‘Big Island’ in the Pacific by Zeplin, Pamela. Art Monthly Australia, Issue 232, August 2010. Page 5-10.
[Fiji] Blue Vasu.
Kelston, Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand. 20 October, 2011.
Taken on iPhone using Hipstamtic iPhone App
[Fiji] Blue Vasu was orignally published on i see oceania 10 November, 2011.
“We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood” ~ Teresia Teaiwa