Summer Performance Series

Featuring performances by Nina Oberg Humphries, Vaimaila Urale, Faith Wilson and Leafa Wilson 

In the CoCA Toi Moroki Summer Performance Series, supported by the CCC Transitional Fund, artists were invited to respond to the context of Ōtautahi Christchurch, and to develop a performance activating transitional spaces in the CBD. The artists were encouraged to look beyond the 'post-earthquake' status and consider performances in relationship to their own identities and experiences. At a time when the city is re-emerging, these works offer a chance to consider the diverse socio-political and cultural narratives that intertwine, shaping our identities.   

The Artists

  • Faith Wilson
    Faith Wilson
    New Zealand

    Faith Wilson is an artist and writer from Kirikiroa currently based in Te Whanganaui-a-Tara. She completed her BA in English Literature and Philosophy at Waikato University, Honours in English Literature and MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University/International Institute of Modern Letters. Faith's practice moves between the disciplines of writing, performance and video.

    Photo credit: Janet Lilo

  • Leafa Wilson
    Leafa Wilson
    New Zealand

    Leafa Wilson is an accomplished artist, curator and writer based in Waikato, New Zealand. Her commitment to the arts spans twenty-eight years where she has become a pioneer for curatorial practices. In 2004, Wilson was appointed the role of Curator of Art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, making her the first person of Pacific descent to hold an institutional role as an art curator. Since then, Wilson has diversified the museum collection and developed exhibitions with leading New Zealand and International artists including Suji Park: Not Very So 2013; the exhibition series Letters to the Ancestors: Contemporary Indigenous Art from Aotearoa and the Pacific 2005; and Dolly Mix (W) Rapper 2002.

    As an artist, Wilson is revered for her experimental performances and multi-media installations. She has often worked under the nom de guerre Leafa Wilson a.k.a Olga Krause, a name that queries the boundaries of indigenous and Western ideologies and re-colonising her own name with her black body . Her diverse interests have resulted in unique collaborations and projects such as the art zine Pre/Post Rapture; the performance work Anthro. 101 with Dr. Nichola Harcourt and Faith Wilson; Hedwig and George (with Georgina Watson) and ongoing collaboration with her daughter, writer and poet, Faith Saufo’i Wilson. Her musical interests are a blend of performance art and music with her art band Bushwig as well as  musical projects with Alex Mustard (of Lookie Loos) band,The Jansens and playing tenor horn for the Monster Orkestra under bohemian composer and conductor, Justine Francis. Leafa Wilson a.k.a Olga Krause has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions and held artist residencies at the University of Queensland Brisbane in 2006 and the Burke Museum, Washington D.C. in 2005.

     

     

    Text By Ane Tonga, 2015

    Image: Te Manawa  

    Leafa Wilson
  • Nina Oberg Humphries
    Nina Oberg Humphries
    New Zealand

    Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Island and Pakeha 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. 

    Nina’s exhibition history includes The Drowned World, Silo Park Auckland, The Physics Room Christchurch, Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2014;The NZ Art Show, Wellington, 2014; Between This, Man Friday 2015 P.O.A, Cathedral Junction, Christchurch 2014; Remake-Remodel, SOFA Gallery, Christchurch 2014.

  • Vaimaila Urale
    Vaimaila Urale
    New Zealand

    Vaimaila Urale is an Auckland based artist. Born in Samoa much of her artmaking process draws on traditional Samoan elements expressed through digital media and contemporary social art practices.    

    Referencing early computer image making known as ASCII, Urale explores digital mark making utilising universal computer keyboard characters / \ backslash and forward slash, as well as mathematical symbols < > less-than and greater-than. Using this process, she has designed tattoo’s, screen prints, ceramics as well as a large scale public mural.

     

    Vaimaila Urale graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology(AUT) 2010 and received the Head of School Visual Arts award. Her art practice has a strong focus on collaboration and audience engagement . She is known for her work as part of the art collective D.A.N.C.E art club and her involvement with Whau arts festival in Auckland. Her work has been exhibited locally at Dowse Art Museum and Mangere Arts Centre, as well as internationally; at SOMArts, San Francisco, Fei Contemporary Art Center, China and Blak Dot Gallery, Australia.

Faith Wilson
New Zealand

Faith Wilson is an artist and writer from Kirikiroa currently based in Te Whanganaui-a-Tara. She completed her BA in English Literature and Philosophy at Waikato University, Honours in English Literature and MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University/International Institute of Modern Letters. Faith's practice moves between the disciplines of writing, performance and video.

Photo credit: Janet Lilo

View artwork
Leafa Wilson
New Zealand

Leafa Wilson is an accomplished artist, curator and writer based in Waikato, New Zealand. Her commitment to the arts spans twenty-eight years where she has become a pioneer for curatorial practices. In 2004, Wilson was appointed the role of Curator of Art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, making her the first person of Pacific descent to hold an institutional role as an art curator. Since then, Wilson has diversified the museum collection and developed exhibitions with leading New Zealand and International artists including Suji Park: Not Very So 2013; the exhibition series Letters to the Ancestors: Contemporary Indigenous Art from Aotearoa and the Pacific 2005; and Dolly Mix (W) Rapper 2002.

As an artist, Wilson is revered for her experimental performances and multi-media installations. She has often worked under the nom de guerre Leafa Wilson a.k.a Olga Krause, a name that queries the boundaries of indigenous and Western ideologies and re-colonising her own name with her black body . Her diverse interests have resulted in unique collaborations and projects such as the art zine Pre/Post Rapture; the performance work Anthro. 101 with Dr. Nichola Harcourt and Faith Wilson; Hedwig and George (with Georgina Watson) and ongoing collaboration with her daughter, writer and poet, Faith Saufo’i Wilson. Her musical interests are a blend of performance art and music with her art band Bushwig as well as  musical projects with Alex Mustard (of Lookie Loos) band,The Jansens and playing tenor horn for the Monster Orkestra under bohemian composer and conductor, Justine Francis. Leafa Wilson a.k.a Olga Krause has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions and held artist residencies at the University of Queensland Brisbane in 2006 and the Burke Museum, Washington D.C. in 2005.

 

 

Text By Ane Tonga, 2015

Image: Te Manawa  

View artwork
Nina Oberg Humphries
New Zealand

Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Island and Pakeha 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. 

Nina’s exhibition history includes The Drowned World, Silo Park Auckland, The Physics Room Christchurch, Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2014;The NZ Art Show, Wellington, 2014; Between This, Man Friday 2015 P.O.A, Cathedral Junction, Christchurch 2014; Remake-Remodel, SOFA Gallery, Christchurch 2014.

View artwork
Vaimaila Urale
New Zealand

Vaimaila Urale is an Auckland based artist. Born in Samoa much of her artmaking process draws on traditional Samoan elements expressed through digital media and contemporary social art practices.    

Referencing early computer image making known as ASCII, Urale explores digital mark making utilising universal computer keyboard characters / \ backslash and forward slash, as well as mathematical symbols < > less-than and greater-than. Using this process, she has designed tattoo’s, screen prints, ceramics as well as a large scale public mural.

 

Vaimaila Urale graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology(AUT) 2010 and received the Head of School Visual Arts award. Her art practice has a strong focus on collaboration and audience engagement . She is known for her work as part of the art collective D.A.N.C.E art club and her involvement with Whau arts festival in Auckland. Her work has been exhibited locally at Dowse Art Museum and Mangere Arts Centre, as well as internationally; at SOMArts, San Francisco, Fei Contemporary Art Center, China and Blak Dot Gallery, Australia.

View artwork
TYPEFACE - Live Tattoo Session & Public Mural, Vaimaila Urale
More about this artwork

Vaimaila Urale is a Samoan artist who will be further exploring her work Typeface, which uses the  computer symbols ‘v’, ‘>’, ‘<’, ‘/’ and ‘\’ to create a Polynesian inspired mural. The mural is a collaborative performance where local community groups are encouraged to get involved in painting the mural alongside the artist. The second part of this performance is tattooing this design onto a volunteer. This is done by a local and qualified tattoo artist and links Vaimaila’s practice to Samoan traditions of tattooing. Her work comments on her Samoan heritage and her Western upbringing in a digital society which opens up discussions around traditions and their role in contemporary life— particularly in a bi-cultural place like New Zealand.


 


This project involves two components, an interactive tattoo session and a large scale public mural. The tattoo session incorporates Pacific inspired digital designs on an intimate scale using the body as a canvas. In contrast the public mural will feature similar digital designs stencilled with paint on a 25 metre long backdrop of wood hoardings.


 


Image: Vaimaila Urale, TYPEFACE Mural, Whau Arts Festival, Auckland 2015. Photo: Janet Lilo

I CALL TO HER, 2016, Nina Oberg Humphries
More about this artwork

‘I CALL TO HER’ is a performance work consisting of a sound recording, poetry, and dance.


The sound recording will be a recitation describing Va and will be accompanied by the dance performance. Va gives priority to all connections, all binaries, the past, the present, cultural differences and indifference, everything finds a place in the space between.


The performance will begin outside of the Canterbury Museum and will then move through into the Museum itself. Cultural sites such as museums and galleries contribute to the construction of identities in Ōtautahi and, as a storehouse of Polynesian Taonga, they remain an instrument of colonial power. The performance calls to the Taonga, activating the Va through movement and sacred threads, which continue to bind cultural Taonga from the past with the living today.


Our thanks to the Canterbury Museum for their help in the production of this work and to the CCC Transitional Cities Fund.


Photos: Janneth Gil 

Confessions // Let it burn, Faith Wilson
More about this artwork

Lies separate truth from fiction. We lie to save ourselves from reprimand, but we also lie to stop other people from getting hurt. We lie to our parents when we do something wrong, because the truth hurts them as much as getting in trouble is going to hurt you. How many lies can we tell until we realise that we’re holding onto so much untruth that it begins to feel like a weight? How long can we withstand the pressure of those lies? Will the truth really set us free?



This performance addresses the function of truth in a relationship, specifically between mother and daughter. As someone who has withheld truth on many occasions, mostly out of fear of how a parent will react, will late confessions bring us closer together, or divide? In Samoan culture, shame is often a public experience, where the errors of the perpetrator are made known. I mimic this, by confessing things out loud to my mother. It will be up to her to listen, forgive, or understand.


 


Image credit: Faith Wilson, Open Letter to Simon Denny, 2016. Photo: Sam Hartnett & Artspace NZ. 

Me And My Salu Lima, Leafa Wilson
More about this artwork

Leafa's performance references the history of migrant labour in New Zealand and the strong presence of migrant workers in Ōtautahi Christchurch particularly during the rebuild. Leafa will use her salu lima (hand broom) to sweep. This simple, repetitive action, rather than perpetuating certain problematic stereotypes becomes an action representing the sense of pride associated with the hard work carried out by the migrant workers. Leafa’s own history is entwined with the history of migrant labour in New Zealand and her performance brings attention to the important presence of these workers in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Intersectional, Faith Wilson, Leafa Wilson
More about this artwork

Olga Krause and Faith Wilson are a mother  and daughter who collaborate with an explicit understanding of where they converge and diverge as individual women.


In this collaborative performance, the artists will use a popular intersection by the bus exchange intersection to physically and literally realise the idea of intersectionality. As they cross or wait to do so they will each read aloud writing written by themselves, their matriarch, mother and grandmother, Etevise Nikolao, or feminist writers. During their performance their paths will converge and diverge before coming together at the end and reading aloud collectively therefore empowering themselves as female artists of colour.


Photo: Bridget Harris, Lichfield and Colombo St Intersection