by Nina Oberg Humphries for SCAPE Public Art Season 2017
Nina Oberg Humphries. The work explores the concept of Tivaevae as a material symbol of cultural belonging and participation, and a making and gifting process through which knowledge is exchanged and cultural bonding takes place. Aesthetically, Tivaevae embody cultural change and the maintenance of values, and are a means of affirming one’s identity and sense of belonging. Honouring the Vā they also serve to formalise a space, symbolically separating the sacred from the profane. Using the hands of many, ‘ARE PASIFIKA will offer Pasifika peoples living in Ōtautahi today a space to share expressions of identity, strengthen community networks, share knowledge, stories and creatively engage with various heritage arts and cultural practices. Oberg Humphries is leading a series of making workshops and drop-in sessions, and will collect material made by participants for a two-week exhibition [4-18 November].
Oberg Humphries has worked with curators from the Canterbury Museum to select a vitrine of body adornment objects from Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tonga from their collection, on display in the Museum foyer for the duration of SCAPE Season 2017.
Nina Oberg Humphries
Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Islands and Pākehā descent. Nina studied towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Sculpture at Ilam School of Arts in Christchurch between 2013 - 2015. Nina’s work explores her dual Pacific and Western heritage. Through the use of traditional Polynesian art forms such as Tivaevae, costume and dance, combined with elements of popular culture, she seeks to convey issues of gender, identity and social politics.