Apenisa Bainivalu, Laweni Tekina Laiseane & Veniana Maraia Paulina
Born 1959, Mokani village, Tailevu Province, Fiji
Laweni Tekina Laiseane
Born 1964, Naroi village, Lau Province, Fiji
Veniana Maraia Paulina
Born 1951, Nasilai village, Rewa Delta, Fiji
Live and work in Nasilai village, Fiji
Potters from Nasilai, in the Rewa province of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, have long made the water vessels for the Roko Tui Dreketi (high chief of their region) for both practical and ceremonial use. This custom, alongside the creation of various day-to-day items, has nurtured the emergence of exceptionally varied and innovative water vessels. At the heart of this legacy are the efforts of renowned potters Veniana Maraia Paulina, Laweni Tekina Laiseane, Apenisa Bainivalu and several generations of their families.
For APT10, the artists have completed a new series of 25 water vessels based on forms and techniques unique to Nasilai. The vessels are made with clay from the riverbank and shaped with wooden beaters, smooth river stones and by hand. Intricate motifs are applied through incisions on the surface, with protruding shapes and figures arranged around the vessels in linear patterns. Now rarely used to store water, they continue to be indispensable receptacles of memory, signifying connections to land and ancestral knowledge as well as hope for future generations.
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