Flowers, food and art exhibition launched
The Pacific Women in Agriculture and Nutrition Art exhibition and flower gala was launched yesterday at the Orator Hotel.
It is being organised by the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (P.I.F.O.N.) and Pacific Agribusiness Research in Development Initiative Phase 2.
According to Illeyah Draunidalo, Communications manager for P.I.F.O.N, the purpose of the event is to highlight and celebrate the work of the women behind the areas of floriculture.
“These women play a huge role within their families and households; they are raising the standards by being involved in the industry this way and making a positive contribution to the country,” she said.
“The gala is filled with supporters of art, our international partners from Europe as well as in the Pacific region. We are also supported by the Samoa Farmers Association and also Orator Hotel.
“The exhibition and gala was put together by women in Samoa.”
She added that P.I.F.O.N. is a regional network, in June of this year they formalised the Floriculture Association.
“It is significant considering it’s been a cottage industry so it’s made that move away and in a positive direction, for it to go - it means that there are opportunities there.
“There is a demand for this product and people will pay money for it. Flowers is also a form of art, if you look at the way the floral arrangements have been done that takes a lot of creative genius to put together and art is no different.
“Without art in our lives it’s meaningless, it’s like saying why do we need flowers in your life.”
Some of the artwork featured in the exhibition was done by artists: Nikki Mariner, Jane Dietershagen, Losbanos Pinoyll, and Lalovai Peseta.
According to Mr. Peseta, his painting is about the artist's mother, Viola, who lives in the village of Avao in Savaii.
“The monochromatic piece uses green to represent growth, fertility and the natural environment.
“The painting acknowledges the women who know their land and their livestock, crops, weather. It is about women in tune with their natural environment, and who work the land for their families.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said that flowers are one of the wonders of nature.
“The beauty of flowers cannot be surpassed and when we write or speak of beauty we often liken it to a flower.
“In Samoa, the Samoans are familiar with our well known Samoan song “Le Aute Samoa” (The Samoan Hibiscus) which is deep red and it is very prolific in Samoa.
“We are all very familiar with references to the English rose denoting that particular kind of beauty; we remember Elton John and changing his song particularly in his farewell to Princess Diana and calling her England’s rose.”
She said that flowers are everywhere in the pacific, “we wear them on our bodies, ears, on our hair, on our clothes and they are of cultural expressions on our songs, art, medicine.”
“In other cultures they play a big part in hospitality, in our love lives, and in our romances and of course in our work.
“Flowers can play a very big part in our economy and especially as modernization and modern life puts a distance between a modern man and woman and nature and it creates in us a yearning for flowers and other blessings in our natural world.
“Farmers know all too well the critical role flowers play in the pollination of crops and its impacts on crop harvest. Art is our attempt to interpret or recreate what has already been created and the reality of nature.”
She also congratulated the women farmers of the pacific for the display of natural beauty and wonder.