Media Release: June, 2006.
“I called the exhibition 'Mrs Amituanai' because when I got married in August last year, I became the first Mrs Amituanai in my husband’s household since his mother passed away fourteen years ago.”— Edith Amituanai (nee Sagapolu).
Amituanai’s intimate, moving photos reference death and weddings. Since graduating in 2005, she has already attracted significant attention. Amituanai was a finalist in the 2004 Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award. She is the youngest of the twenty top photographers selected for inclusion in the recent major publication Contemporary New Zealand Photography, a finalist in the prestigious Montana New Zealand Book Awards. An exhibition of highlights from the book showed in Porirua, Auckland and Arrowtown. She had work in the noted group exhibition Break Shift at Taranaki’s Govett Brewster. Four of her works were recently acquired by Auckland Art Gallery.
The first generation, New Zealand- born Samoan’s photos celebrate New Zealand Samoan weddings and families. In Mrs Amituanai, the tradition of photography itself is paid homage to, most notably in the frequent inclusion of framed family portraits in the backgrounds of her photographs. Amituanai says most Samoan viewers will understand the questions she is asking about cultural mores. “What I want to show is an intimate and particular view.”
City Gallery Wellington is pleased to present 2 x 2 Contemporary Projects, a series of two exhibitions, each showcasing two contemporary artists’ solo exhibitions –Amituanai and painter Kelcy Taratoa in the first and multi-media artist Lonnie Hutchinson and Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award winner Sriwhana Spong in the second. Fresh and innovative, these artworks and artists are at the forefront of contemporary practices.
Whilst these are four distinct exhibitions, each with their own sets of agendas and concerns, they have been carefully selected by curator Emma Bugden to speak to each other, to generate dialogue. They create a conversation about the complexity of personal and cultural identity in today’s urban and global environment.
2 x 2 Contemporary Projects:
Edith Amituanai/ Kelcy Taratoa
City Gallery Wellington, 18 June– 30 July 2006