Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows

Image: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Image: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows are New Zealand based Tongan artists specialising in tapa art. Their work mixes can be challenging, confronting and controversial, but always with respect to the roots of the medium and the ancestors who practised it before them. They are recipients of the Creative New Zealand Heritage Art Award in 2018 and have exhibited and presented their work across the globe.

WORKSHOP & FILM SCREENING Painting Ngatu // Vava’u ‘Falavai Flava, November 2018 Raven Row, London

The day started with a screening of Vava’u ‘Falavai Flava, a hand-made film by Tui Emma Gillies documenting her mother, Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows, return to her home island of Vava’u and the revival of traditional ngatu practices.

The session was framed by learning traditional and contemporary ngatu preparation and painting technques, while discussion explored ideas surrounding art and cultural identity.

Tataki ʻe he Leá (Guided Language) , Ngatu (Tongan barkcloth), 600mm x 1070mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

Tataki ʻe he Leá (Guided Language), Ngatu (Tongan barkcloth), 600mm x 1070mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

EXHIBITION Mana Moana | Mana Wahine, May 2019 Raven Row, London

Tataki ʻe he Leá (Guided Language), 2019 Ngatu (Tongan barkcloth) 600mm x 1070mm

A mother-daughter collaboration, this ngatū (Tongan barkcloth) explores pre-European spirituality and visual language.