Hutt at Heart
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Post-Plantation 2017.

Hair – it’s complicated

This summer The Dowse Art Museum welcomes WANTOK, an exhibition that explores Melanesian culture through hair.

Wantok is a touring exhibition, curated by Luisa Tora which was originally shown at the Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku.  We are proud to bring this important show to Lower Hutt for locals to see and enjoy.

Creating this exhibition was a very personal experience for Tora, “This conversation about hair is one we’ve all had at some point, with family, with friends, with complete strangers.”

The show features the work of nine Melanesian female artists based in Australia and Aotearoa: Dulcie Stewart (Fiji/Australia), Jasmine Togo-Brisby (Vanuatu/Aotearoa New Zealand), Luisa Tora (Fiji/Aotearoa New Zealand), Salote Tawale (Fiji/Australia) and Tufala Meri (Reina and Molana Sutton, Solomon Islands/Aotearoa New Zealand).  Each of these artists show Melanesian knowledge and practice, and address decolonisation, gender and beauty through hair.

Visitors to the show will be treated to a selection of photos and videos, each with a unique and clear artistic voice that invites visitors to the show to think about how our culture and history can be seen in how we treat our own, and each other’s hair.

WANTOK is on show at The Dowse Art Museum 8 December – 28 April 2019

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