Arts festival raises a Pacific voice



Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 2015 Symposium

Applying cultural protocols to the development of contemporary Pacific works was just one of the topics raised in a panel discussion chaired by Viscopy at a two day symposium held at Contemporary Pacific Arts festival last month.

The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) brings together creative practitioners, community elders, students, academics and arts industry professionals who are engaged with the Pacific arts. It gives Australian-based artists with Pacific Islander heritage an opportunity to discuss, participate, and listen to themes that are relevant to their practice.

Copyright Agency | Viscopy’s Indigenous Communications Coordinator Patricia (Trish) Adjei led a discussion on Pacific Indigenous Intellectual Property rights in a breakout session. She was joined by artists, writers and curators such as Naup Waup, Lana Lopesi and Leilani Kake, who spoke about their experiences around cultural protocols when using and developing contemporary Pacific works.

“These artists, writers and curators presented really inspiring ideas about how to strengthen their arts practice and explored issues that many practicing Pacific artists face,” Trish said.

“The symposium provided that opportunity for critical thinking for Pacific islanders artists, curators and creators about the current environment of their work. It allowed the voice of the Pacific to be expressed as a majority rather than a minority, which is a powerful thing.

“This is the third year of CPAF and it can only grow from here.”

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund supported the two day Symposium, which drew a large contingent of New Zealander artists contingent including Rosanna Raymond, Ema Tavola, Jimmy James Kouratos, Siliga David Setoga, Lana Lopesi.

The two-day program included a key-note address by internationally acclaimed artists Chuck Feesago who was also the visiting guest curator of the major CPAF Exhibition in the Roslyn Smorgan Gallery at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

The continuation of CPAF will help lead the sector in excellence and community engagement across Pacific communities and contemporary arts in Australia.