Journalist Rashneel Kumar of the Cook Islands News wrote an article about how eleven artists took part in a local art exhibition that began this past weekend at the newly-built Tavioni Gallery and Vananga located on the back road at Atupa, Cook Islands.
The inaugural group exhibition, called the “Native of 2020” will run until January 11, 2019.
The contributing artists’ whose work will be showcased at this exhibition are Michael (Mike) Tavioni, Josh Baker, Fe’ena Syme-Buchanan, Croc, Numangatini F Mackenzie, Ani O’Neill, Sebastian Paoa, Tangi Taime, Pouarii Tanner, Awhitia Tavioni and Sam Thomas. “Each of these painters, carvers, strategists, photographers and filmmakers, have their own unique connection to Rarotonga. Their contemporary perspectives provide fresh insight on our island, the wider pacific and beyond,” said a statement from the organizers.
“‘Native of 2020’ is the title of a poem by Michael Tavioni, first published in his poetry collection, “Speak Your Truth”, in January 2002. The poem questions who is “native” and considers the various influences that wash over our shores, predicting globalization’s infinite reach.
“Like Tavioni’s poem the artworks in ‘Native of 2020’ give us a vaka to navigate the contemporary Pacific and guide our voyage in it,” the statement said.
Michael Tavioni is often described as ‘Master Carver’ and possesses the rare ability to construct & complete a traditional, ocean going outrigger canoe within a single day. His extensive traditional knowledge encompasses all areas of Cook Islands life, a veritable living encyclopedia of cultural data. Poet, painter, tattoo artist, stone, wood and bone carver, author & social commentator, Tavioni’s role within the pacific art community is acknowledged from New Zealand through to Hawaii.
Mike Tavioni’s contribution to Cook Islands art is immeasurable and he is regarded in the highest esteem by the local art community.