Siliga Setoga, self-portrait Siliga Setoga, self-portrait CREDIT: Massey University
Example of work by Janet Lilo Example of work by Janet Lilo CREDIT: Massey University
John Pule, The Blue Plateau of Polynesian Memory John Pule, The Blue Plateau of Polynesian Memory CREDIT: Massey University

Pasifika artists first in residence

Friday 20 July 2012, 6:16PM
By Massey University


Three Pasifika artists will be the first artists-in-residence at Te Ara Hihiko, Massey University’s new creative arts building in Wellington.

Massey creative arts students – and the wider community – can expect to be challenged, intrigued and inspired by the three artists, who are:

  • Siliga Setoga (Samoa, Niue): a performance artist whose work is in collections as far afield as the British Museum
  • Janet Lilo (Ngapuhi, Niue, Samoa): a visual artist who often uses video and last year won the Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Art Award
  • John Pule (Niue): 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


Each artist-in-residence will spend two weeks based in Te Ara Hihiko, Massey’s new creative arts building. Mr Setoga’s project, in particular, will extend into the city, as he plans to record himself performing menial tasks in public places as part of his exploration of the notion of identity. Identity, he says, is a “performance rather than a checklist of what one must look like, think, and even pre-cut behavioural reactions”.

Mr Setoga is also inviting anyone who is interested to contribute a T-shirt to the creation of a massive T-shirt lolly lei installation (an up-sized material version of the ubiquitous lolly lei). The workshop, for all-comers, will be 1-4pm on August 2 in Te Ara Hihiko.

The College of Creative Arts is hosting a public lecture by Mr Pule on September 11, and a public exhibition of artwork from the residencies will be held later in the year.

The artists will have open studio times when students can drop in to discuss their work. They will also give guest lectures and workshops for students. Mr Setoga will run a collaborative fala-su’i wool woven mat project. Ms Lilo, by contrast, 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. Mr Pule intends to run a workshop entitled “Words into Worlds” that will explore how words can be translated into a visual language.

Key dates
July 23 – August 3: Siliga Setoga in residence
August 2: Siliga Setoga T-shirt lolly lei workshop, 1-4pm. Bring a T-shirt to donate to the installation. Te Ara Hihiko (entrance E off Tasman St)
August 6 – 17: Janet Lilo in residence
September 10 – 21: John Pule in residence
September 11: John Pule, public lecture, 5-6pm, Te Ara Hihiko (entrance E off Tasman St)

More information