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When the man with the wild hair and the white overalls starts to sing, everyone listens (except maybe his children).
Massey University’s first Pasifika artist-in-residence, Siliga Setoga, appears in a brief video clip now on YouTube. Mr Setoga and his family spent the last two weeks at Massey’s College of Creative Arts working with students and staff.
The video features the fala-su’i wool woven mat workshop during which Mr Setoga explained the traditional context for such mat making and its place in contemporary Pasifika art. His garb for the occasion – white overalls and gumboots – was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Pacific Islanders as freezing workers, the use of wool in weaving, and the Christian faith where Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God.
Meanwhile, the second artist in the series has taken up her residency. Janet Lilo is a video artist of Ngapuhi, Niuean and Samoan descent. She won the Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Art Award in 2011. Amongst her projects for the next fortnight, Ms Lilo will spin off a recent American reality TV show to challenge students to make a new art work from scratch using a mystery brief, random materials and a strict timeframe. She will also deliver two lunchtime public lectures at midday on August 10 and 17.
The third and final artist in this series is John Pule, the highly respected artist, novelist and poet who was made an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate in 2004 and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Mr Pule will be in residence in mid-September, and will give a public lecture on September 11.