When the announcement for the ‘Tui Residency’ was made, I had received a lot of love and support especially from the Niuean Community.
I was fortunate to be invited by Inangaro Vakaafi to feature on the Niue Ogo Motu Radio show, supported by 531.pi. Being extremely grateful and excited as I am, I gladly excepted the invitation. It was a great opportunity to be able to share a bit about my artist practice as well as what the ‘Tui Residency’ meant.
On a personal note it was quite overwhelming and emotional, knowing this is the radio station that my Nana the late Lotohaaku Iosia Sipeli would listen to. Growing up she would call up the radio to announce all my achievements throughout high school. Every year without fail she’d always make a birthday dedication to me.
She was lively, vibrant, and talented woman in variety of handcrafts, she is an inspiration for her talents and her tenacity for life. My earliest memories of my Nana Loto are her pineapple pies and coconut bread, she would sell at the Otara flea market. She made her own dresses, embroidery pillow cases, crochet beanies and the list goes on. I know that I get a lot of my creativity from my Nana. There is so much in this life that inspires me. The choice of materials I use throughout my practice tell stories of their own, it also binds both my stories of childhood nostalgia and ‘My Pasifika’ today.
This experience has been one of excitement, adrenaline and nervousness. But nevertheless it has been an experience that keeps me grounded and connected to my Niuean roots. I am exceedingly grateful that I was able to share it with my family and those I care about the most.
A big thank you to Niue Ongo Motu – Radio Show for the opportunity.
In the 531pi Studio with interviewer Inangaro Vakaafi