A new exhibition opened last weekend at Lancaster Press Fiji, in the hills of Malaqereqere, just near Sigatoka, featuring the efforts of local and international artists working in various mediums, including lithography, the medium in which artist and press founder, Peter Lancaster, specialises.
Speaking at the opening, Lancaster said the artist and printing studios, residency programs and gallery is the fulfillment of a long-held dream.
Amongst the exhibiting artists in the Duavata exhibition is Josua Toganivalu, a well known painter and part of the original Red Wave Collective at the University of the South Pacific’s Oceania Centre.
Toganivalu says working in lithography was a totally new experience, and the studio was an inspiring place to hone his craft.
The works he is exhibiting were printed in response to COVID.
“For artists, that’s part of our history now. Artists use their medium to create awareness, tell stories as well…for artists we use this platform to create awareness of what happened during our lifetime,” Toganivalu said.
One piece, ‘Staying Alive’, features “a warrior wearing the mask, when everyone had to wear masks.
“It was part of the uniform, you’d take your phone, your wallet and your mask. And during that time, you know Fiji is known for their bula smile and but you’re hiding. And I did that piece like a warrior with a mask to say how we’re resilient during that time. We can remain strong and to just stay alive. Follow those COVID protocols, wear a mask.”
Toganivalu’s second artwork features a syringe, with the years of the pandemic marked. “You’ll notice that one of the vaccines was Moderna vaccine so I’ve put in my own local spin, ‘Mo Dina’, to be true, to be real.”
Other local artists exhibiting with Duavata include Rusiate Lali, Robert Kennedy, Susie Elliot, Robert Kennedy and Waqa Vuidreketi.
To visit the Duavata exhibition, contact Lancaster Press Fiji on 8043886 or 9362349.
To read more about Lancaster Press, watch out for the next issue of Fiji Traveller.