The Lapita Journey 2
The artist’s matrilineal lineage is connected to the Lapita people who travelled long distances throughout the Pacific from South East Asia in outriggers, navigating at night by the stars.
Much has been written about the Lapita pottery that predates many civilizations and is wide ranging throughout the Pacific. They had beautiful designs and quite sophisticated usage that stem from water jugs, cooking pots and also ceremonial usage that depict characters from mythological times connected with places, animals and fauna.
Rusiate’s grandmother was recognised as one of Fiji’s leading potters. Taraivini Wati was born in 1935 in the traditional pottery making village of Nasilei, in the Rewa Delta, south east of the main island of Fiji, 45 minutes from Suva.
A strong believer in traditional culture and an extraordinary storyteller, Taraivini Wati inspired generations of young people to learn their ancestral stories, traditional dances, music, poetry and theatre. She was very talented at all these mediums and what we would call today a multi media artist. Wati regularly gave demonstrations of pottery making at Suva Museum (who have a collection of her pottery) and gave occasional lectures at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.
Stunning Melanesian Aesthetic Energized with Powerful Modernist Expression… Rusiate Lali is a man of his times. Coming from a long lineage of potters, carvers, tapa cloth and fibre artists, Rusiate is one of the most exciting and provocative artists to exhibit at Gallery Gondwana. In 1999 he was named 'Contemporary Fijian Artist of the Year' - his work was a sensuous mix of past and present, myth and reality. With a number of solo and group exhibitions under his belt, and a body of work that continues to grow, evolve and surprise, every new exhibition is eagerly anticipated. His step into the high end fashion world of London in 2016 saw his experimental pieces adorned the catwalk models, then the Spring/Summer fashion show in Alice Springs the same year, saw his paintings transformed into wearable art and fashion. The following year 2017 saw his London Exhibition Climate Change in the Pacific as the opening of the 13th London Pacific Fashion Week…