Don't miss this incredible decal installation on the Freyberg Square steps by designer Pouarii Tanner for Art in the City.
The Cook Island born, Auckland-raised designer is always thinking about how spaces can be intelligent and dynamic. For this artwork, she considered how the lives and work of Pacific Island women before her helped to make Auckland the vibrant and diverse city it is today.
Tivaevae is the traditional quilting style of Polynesia - a colourful celebration of flora and fauna handmade by Cook Island women and in Cook Island culture is often presented and given to mark special occasions. P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A celebrates this and was designed by Pouarii while in Rarotonga with guidance from her own Tivaevae teachers. It features recognisable tivaevae motifs, such as the Tigerlily and the Chrysanthemum, examples of flora found in both the Cook Islands and New Zealand to honour the talents of Pacific women in New Zealand and also P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A, an organisation that became an important and powerful force to bridge the gap between Pacific and New Zealand cultures.
The design also ties back brilliantly to the 2022 theme for Art in the City, Spring. Enjoy the site-specific work that connects the communities and public spaces in which it surrounds. Across from the steps is the Ellen Melville Centre, famous for its rooms that are named after Pioneer women, one of them Pacific Island Leader Eleitino (Paddy) Walker who, in 1976, co-founded P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A (Pacific Allied [Women’s] Council Inspires Faith in Ideals Concerning All) to help Pacific Island immigrants adjust to life in New Zealand.
Traditionally, Tivaevae is made in groups as a communal practice with many female practitioners working together to complete a common artistic goal that is shared and enjoyed by all. It is Tanner's hope that people will gather to use and enjoy this space and this work throughout spring.
Part of Art in the City.