Women given chance to showcase artistic skills

Islands

A workshop in Bougainville has brought female artists together in preparation for the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) which will open in Brisbane in November next year.
An initiative of the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) with the support of the Australian government, the Women’s Wealth workshop was led by Ruth McDougall, curator, Pacific Art at QAGOMA, and co-curator Sana Balai.
The project aims to create opportunities for Bougainvillean women to engage in creative exploration.
It has drawn on artists Taloi and Marilyn Havini, to identify artists and art forms across Bougainville, as well as nearby islands in the Solomon Islands with whom Bougainville women share linguistic and cultural ties.
“Women’s Wealth aims to put value on you as women, the works you’ve made, and the space where you have come together,” McDougall said to the artists at the close of the 10-day workshop.
The participants included 10 artists from Bougainville, four from the Solomon Islands and four from Australia.
The artists shared ideas and techniques, and experimented with art forms outside their usual practice.
Adelaide Mekea Aniona from Arawa said that there were only a few women from her village who still practised their artistic craft and the workshop had provided her with a new creative community.
The workshop, hosted by Sister Lorraine Garasu at the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, gave the women confidence to nourish their art and develop works in the lead up to APT9.
“I am just a local woman in my community and was undecided about joining the workshop, but I’ve now seen my potential,” Siwai’s Pauline Anis said.
APT9 will bring together between 80 and 90 artists and groups from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific to celebrate the strength of contemporary art and culture in the region.

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