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Meet our artists: Artist Resume 


Definition of the Artwork:


The printed works are deconstruct from the Samoan tattoos, showing both the front and back legs for males and females. Artists who have a direct connection to their culture, particularly Indigenous cultures, are making work in a contemporary art context that has a very powerful origin. It is connected to a past where ‘art’, as we now know it, was not separate from the functions of law (lore) and societal functions. It played a vital role in society by passing on traditions that were the glue for the healthy functioning of communities.


How this work sits in a contemporary art context, which is often driven by an economic imperative, is a tightrope that many Indigenous artists must walk in order to maintain the integrity of their heritage. Fonofale walks this tightrope deftly by bringing with him the rich body of meaning that is embedded in Samoan culture. His work is not merely decorative, influenced by the aesthetic of his ancestors, but it offers the non-Indigenous audience a glimpse into another world of meaning. Additionally, he creates a contemporary edition of this culture, proving that it is a living culture and not something to be consigned to museums.  


Culture is with him, no matter where he lives. Through the practice of his art, he continues a tradition that came before him for thousands of generations, and the work you see is Pacific contemporary art, now part of a vibrant contemporary voice that joins the myriad of other cultures that make up the Australian identity.


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Tu'ufa'atasi /Togetherness/Unity[as-one]

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