Australian and Pacific First Nations artists to connect the past to the present in explosive new performance collaboration

Published by: Next Wave | 19-Dec-2016
Smoke rises. Song welcomes. Bodies are adorned. Enter a space carrying culture, ceremony and regalia of our longest living cultures. Next Wave brings together acclaimed Samoan/Aotearoa (New Zealand) artist Rosanna Raymond with Maori, Pasifika and Aboriginal collaborators in Lukautim Solwara (look out for the ocean), a one-night-only event of performance, art and adornment. @next_wave #LukautimSolwara #AsiaTOPA
Venue: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
Address: 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, VIC
Date: Friday 17 February 2017
Time: 7pm
Ticket: $39/$29
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First Nations artists from across Australia and the Pacific will come together in Melbourne to create an explosive new performance work for Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts "“ Asia TOPA.

Lukautim Solwara (look out for the ocean) is led by renowned international artist Rosanna Raymond (Samoa, lives Auckland). Presented by Next Wave, this one night only event is on Friday 17 February 2017 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Raymond will lead seven First Nations visual artists, performers and choreographers through a unique two-week intensive development process (6-16 February) based on the Maori wānanga: a place and to meet, deliberate, consider and learn.

The collaborating artists are curator and visual artist Leuli Eshraghi (Samoa/Iran, lives Melbourne), multi-disciplinary artists Reina Sutton (Solomon Islands, lives Auckland), and Jaimie Waititi (New Zealand Maori, lives Auckland), dancer and choreographers Amrita Hepi (Ngapuhi NZ and Bundjalung, lives Sydney) Thomas ES Kelly (Bundjalung/Wiradjuri, lives Sydney), and visual artists Nicole Monks (Yamatji Wajarri, lives Sydney) and Steven Rhall (Taungurong, lives Melbourne).

Together the artists will explore the Pacific and Indigenous collections of Melbourne Museum, host community workshops, and intensively create, fabricate and actiVAte ahead of the immersive performance event.

Lukautim Solwara translates from Tok Pisin (Pidgin English) and Solomon Islands Pijin as "to look out for, or look after, the ocean". This title refers to a shared connection to land and sea between Raymond and the collaborating artists, but it also carries an ominous edge, alluding to the rising sea levels endangering the homelands of many Pacific communities. Raymond and the collaborating artists also rely heavily on the Samoan concept of vā, an understanding of space as 'active' "“ not as empty and passive, but activated by people, relationships and reciprocal obligations.

Rosanna Raymond is perhaps best known to Australian audiences through her acclaimed work SaVAge K'lub at 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, a large collaborative installation which was hugely popular with audiences. Over the past twenty years, Raymond's activities have made her a notable producer of and commentator on contemporary Pacific Island culture, in Aotearoa New Zealand, the UK and the USA. She specialises in working within museums and higher education institutions as an artist, performer, curator, guest speaker, poet and workshop leader.

"Next Wave is excited to be bringing together indigenous voices from Australia and the Pacific to reveal shared interests, passions and concerns for the region" said Next Wave Director Georgie Meagher. "Rosanna and the collaborating artists will craft a surprising, provocative and moving experience for audiences, exploring untold histories and shared culture."

"Lukautim Solwara is about connecting the past into the now," said Rosanna Raymond. "I believe the body is a place where the past, present and future of culture comes together, and we are the vessels for our ancestors to inhabit the present. This project will bring together artists who have different but intersecting cultures in an intensive process of sharing, making and activating."

Established in 1984, Next Wave is the most comprehensive platform in Australia for a new generation of artists taking creative risks. Next Wave produces unparalleled learning programs and a biennial festival which reflect a commitment to social and cultural diversity, environmental sustainability and inclusion. It's landmark program Blak Wave brought Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to the centre of Next Wave Festival 2014, brightly illuminating the great artistic potential of embracing cultural diversity.

Lukautim Solwara (look out for the ocean) was commissioned by Next Wave and Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts. This project is supported by Creative New Zealand, ACCA and Arts House. Next Wave is supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne. Asia TOPA is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne and is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments.

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