Reconciliation – a new body of work by renowned Samoan artist Fatu Feu’u ONZM, opened on Tuesday 23 July at ARTIS Gallery.
Fatu Feu’u ONZM explores motifs of Pacific and particularly his Samoan culture with a strong modernist interpretation and he has established a distinctive style, which sees him recognised as one of the leading New Zealand Pacific artists.
Feu’u was born in Samoa in 1946 and moved to New Zealand at the age of 20, working in textile design before becoming a full-time artist in his early 40s. At this time he was encouraged by his friends and mentors Pat Hanly, Tony Fomison and Philip Clairmont.
Fatu’s work draws inspiration from ancient designs and patterns – from tapa cloth, lapita pottery and tattoo. Over the past decade, Fatu Feu’u has developed a series of works based on the Samoan tradition of ‘ifoga’ or reconciliation/rebuilding after a terrible event or action. The central letter ‘I’ as a motif captures this, with different colours coming together, meeting half way. This can be a meeting between families, tribes, villages or even nations – often to reconcile after someone has wronged another person or party.
Fatu Feu’u speaking at the opening of his 2018 exhibition ‘Ole Malaga’ at ARTIS Gallery
Gallery view of the exhibition. Artwork on left: Fatu Feu’u, Ia Mana, Wall hanging, Acrylic & oils on canvas, 2.14 m x 3.8 m, Signed
Fatu Feu’u , Fa’afafine, Macrocarpa, 4 meters high, Unique