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Stories lifted from community and retold back to that community as art works are the foundation an exhibition by contemporary artist John Vea which opens at MTG Hawke's Bay on Saturday.
The exhibition includes existing works alongside a new piece based on interactions Vea has had with people in Hawke's Bay.
The underlying thread of the exhibition is the idea of talanoa. Vea explains "To Talanoa you have a personal encounter with another person in conversation, collecting stories of the everyday."
The rich storytelling element in Vea's work resonates as truly Pacific, in the content and themes of worker’s rights and the experience of minority groups, and also in the way each piece is created and presented. “My desire is to bring the overlooked realities of people into view through art," explains Vea.
Vea's works show his exploration of physical labour, poverty and an underclass of contemporary society he considers invisible. His work touches themes particularly relevant to a Pacific setting such as the effects of tsunami, social welfare demands and seasonal employment.
Vea’s practice involves the re-enactment or retelling of other’s experience through performance, projection and sculpture. "The outcome is my sometimes humorous and possibly powerful symbolic viewpoint" Vea says.
MTG Hawke's Bay will host Vea's works until March 2016.
John Vea will deliver a floor talk for this exhibition at MTG on Saturday at 11am.
14 October 2015
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