In post-earthquake Christchurch the issues concerning the creative re-growth and rebuilding of a community have been of particular concern to Fatu Feuâ€™u. Ola, explains the artist, â€˜explores the affection for or love we have for where we come from.â€™ A Samoan word that functions as both noun and verb, Ola means â€˜lifeâ€™ and â€˜to create life.â€™ Feuâ€™u plays with the two merging concepts of Ola in his exhibition, exploring the human capacity to love, hope and grow in times of adversity.
In 2011, to mark the 15th anniversary of the Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist in residence programme, Fatu Feuâ€™u (the first recipient in 1996) returned to Christchurch to complete a second residency. As part of this, Feuâ€™u researched and wrote a new body of poetry which will be published accompanied by a series of lithographs. The paintings in Ola were produced as the foundation for this upcoming publication.
Born in Samoa 1946, Fatu Feuâ€™u settled in New Zealand in 1966. A senior contemporary artist, Feuâ€™u is an adept painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer and poet. He is also considered as both a leader and mentor within the Pacific arts community in New Zealand. Drawing on his Samoan heritage as well as life in Aotearoa, his work combines traditional and contemporary myth and motif to articulate a graphic visual vernacular. Feuâ€™u has exhibited regularly both nationally and internationally. His work is held in major collections such as the National Gallery, Brisbane; Auckland City Art Gallery; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington and Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton.
14 March – 23 March
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Ilam Campus Gallery: Block 2, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury