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Ana Teofilo "Return to Paradise and Peace" 13th June - 1st July

Preview:  Tuesday 13th June, 5.30pm - 7.30pm  Exhibition Dates: 14th June - 1st July The young emerging artist Ana Teofilo is unusual for two reasons, o ...

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Preview:  Tuesday 13th June, 5.30pm – 7.30pm  Exhibition Dates: 14th June – 1st July

The young emerging artist Ana Teofilo is unusual for two reasons, one being more apparent than the other. Less apparent is the fact Teofilo is a Pacifica NZ born Samoan artist working well outside and away from the South Pacific art hub of Auckland, being based in Dunedin. Teofilo says, “My roots are firmly based around my traditional Samoan heritage, but here my identity is very much caught between two cultures. While I want to keep my culture alive here, I do like working independently and removed from the bustle and commercialism of Auckland”.

More obvious is the uniqueness of Teofilo’s practice which involves carving each work, under and over-painting, and then encompassing the imagery with glue dots. The glue dots, a nod to aboriginal art, are opaque but reflect the base and surrounding colours to enhance the three dimensional effects of the carving.

The traditional Samoan carving is usually carried out by men; the Tapa making finished by women, but here, the traditional carved pattern making for Tapa is referenced and rendered by the artist Teofilo in this series of work. Colour and palette are important aspects of Teofilo’s paintings and while earthy browns, reds and ochres appear dominant in many of the painted and carved images, the artist also uses stronger backgrounds employing rich prussian blue and emerald greens in several of the works. It is also obvious when viewing the works first hand in Teofilo’s studio, the works do need to be seen to readily appreciate the detailed and delicate carving highlighted with subtle pastel shading. While Teofilo’s artwork is firmly based around her Samoan heritage and traditional Siapo art forms, the uniqueness and strength of this new series of work brings a breath of fresh air to the Pacifica genre of art in New Zealand.

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