Artists regroup with “Within these walls” Exhibition

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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WITHIN THESE WALLS: Featured Artists from left, Elizabeth Vanderburg, Vera Papalii, Momoe Malietoa Von Reiche, Fata Von Reiche, Lefaga Von Reiche, Viera Vika Bowe and Tiffany Straza.

WITHIN THESE WALLS: Featured Artists from left, Elizabeth Vanderburg, Vera Papalii, Momoe Malietoa Von Reiche, Fata Von Reiche, Lefaga Von Reiche, Viera Vika Bowe and Tiffany Straza.

Artist and founder of M.A.D.D. Gallery, Momoe Malietoa von Reiche, held an exhibition during the weekend.

With the theme of “Within these walls,” it featured art works from the Von Reiche family as well as community artists. The Gallery also celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

 According to Mrs. Von Reiche, the purpose of the event was for the tight groups of artists to re-ground themselves and bring them back to their core purpose of creating their own art.

“Within these walls is just all the works that are done within these walls at M.A.D.D. gallery,” said Mrs. Von Reiche. “The gallery has been focusing on publishing books and we just finished a series of Tokelau books.  

“All our artists were illustrators and designers, so we finished all that and we wanted to come back to being creative people again.”

According to Mrs. Von Reiche, her collection of art pieces reflected an expression of her current life. Visually, the style and mood were a stark contrast to some of her previous and more well-known works.

 “It’s what I’m expressing at this particular time, as you can see my works are totally different from other works I’ve done. I used to do really dark somber slashes in my art,” Mrs. Von Reiche laughs. 

“I think it’s just a stage of life, I mean life is alright, we’ve come through a lot of hardships but at the end of the day, it’s how we make it. 

“Life can be beautiful if you want it to be beautiful. If you want to live down there with all the murk and the muck, then that’s your problem, but we can rise above it.” 

“I guess when you get to my age, I like to look at things that come together and something that looks beautiful aesthetically, so when you look at it, you can sit, enjoy and relax with it, rather than being cognitively thrashed trying to figure it out and sort out the meaning because art can sometimes be really heavy.”

The exhibition was also a family event. As a mother, Mrs. Von Reiche has integrated art and family life seamlessly with her son and daughter also featuring as contributing artists to the “Within these walls” display.

“I have nine kids and most of them are artists. I guess they watched their mother when they were growing up but also they are naturally creative kids. This gallery is a cultural place for all artists, my kids come and go. There’s space to create and also we have other people, friends and kids who have grown up here in the gallery.”

During the evening, Mrs. Von Reiche recited some of her poetry, well known for its sensual themes and focus on love relationships. Her son, Fata Von Reiche and daughter, Lefaga Von Reiche, had a mixture of paintings and prints of display to add to the exhibition. 

The M.A.D.D. gallery in Moto’otua is focused on the educational development of children through creative mediums such as dance, drama and creative writing programmes.

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