As part of an annual cultural Pacific Islands exchange programme, Creative NZ is bringing six senior artists from the Cook Islands to New Zealand in September, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cooks Islands self-governance. The group includes three textile practitioners: Tīvaevae artist Tungane Broadbent, costume designer Minar Henderson and weaver Jemima Peau, who will share their exertise in a programme of events in Wellington (9 September) and Auckland (10-14 September).
From Mangaia, in the southern group of the Cook Islands, Tungane is considered a master in her field. She produces all forms of Tivaevae and her work has highlighted some of the biggest occasions of Cook Islands history, and in 2007 she founded the O’oa Fabric & Fibre Arts group in Rarotonga to teach women to sew Tīvaevae.
Growing up in a Rarotonga family where the women all weave, sew and dance, Minar Henderson was involved with dance and costuming from a very young age. She lived and worked overseas before returning to Rarotonga, opening her arts store Island Living, and is regarded for her skill in costume design and choreography.
Rito weaver Jemima Peau also learned her skill from her family, a long lineage of professional weavers in the northern group of Cook Islands. Since moving to Rarotonga to raise her family, Jemima has been commissioned to create work for local stores.
Wednesday 9 September 2015, TE PAPA, 3 – 5.30pm
Meet the Artists – Demonstrations and artist interviews
Thursday 10 September 2015, FRESH GALLERY, ŌTARA, 6pm
Exhibition opening ‘Pirianga Toto’
Saturday 12 September 2015, AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM, 10am – 3pm
Free public programme
Monday 14 September 2015, FRESH GALLERY, ŌTARA, 1 – 3pm
Exchange with exhibiting and local artists
I was in Rarotonga in July this year with my mother and my sisters. We spent a large part of our week long holiday working on tivaevae that were cut for us by one of the fabulous ‘Mamas’ – Ina Bishop. We were also very lucky to be able to visit Tungane Broadbent at her studio where she showed us some of her stunning collection of tivaevae and where we spent a thoroughly pleasant evening stitching with Tungane and a couple of local women. I am Dunedin based so will not able to attend the workshops but I do have lots of photos of tivaevae taken on this trip and the tivaevae I brought back with me – as yet unstitched! If Dunedin members want to see and hear about our experience with tivaevae please let me knoe and I will organize a show and tell at some point.