Fijian artist Rowena Rooney

Fijian artist Rowena Rooney



That is my Fijian Vakanbula It is an honor and a privilege to honor
my grandmother Adi Teimumu who brought me up in New Zealand and to honor my ancestors from Nukubalavu, Savusavu, Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu, Fiji Islands The first piece that I actually
created was the davui which I call the calling and I used that, I
carved that out of Oamaru stone. That was inspired through the traditional
calling of a welcoming and so… and I also used the davui shell which is the conch shell which is used for very important events for bringing people together and
it welcomes everybody to look at the artworks and be blessed while you are
looking at them. My clay tambua that I have created is based upon the question
of asking people about our most highly prized possession in Fiji that we use for
apologies, for weddings, for birthdays, for births and also it was used pre-European
for trading. I used a lot of the trading materials like the clay, the coconut
sennit which we call the mange mange also today's denomination of use of the
money. The coins that are actually on the coconuts sennit have got the…are the 20
cent Fijian coin which depicts the tambua on it, so my context that I was
trying to get across and ask people is why is such a highly prized taonga of
Fijian heritage put on such a low denomination of coin. The glass piece that I have done I actually wanted to incorporate
something traditional with something contemporary. I actually was looking through a book called Pacific Tapa and I didn't realize that a lot of the masi in there and the tapa actually are held in the the Auckland Museum which was a blessing. And I actually saw this piece that is hanging here the masi bolabola
which is from my province of the Cakaudrove. So that inspired me to create a
contemporary design of… in relation to a traditional depiction and it was interesting when I actually came down to the vault with the masi cloths, this
actual piece was lying on the table so I thought straight away it must have meant
to be

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