An artist's journey begins

An art exhibition showcasing the work of more than fifteen artists - the "Artist’s Journey” - was launched at the Manamea Art Gallery by local artist, Lalovai Peseta, on Thursday.

Artworks on display include more than ten different sculptures and paintings.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Peseta said the artwork displayed throughout the exhibition portrays each artist’s individual journey through life.

“I have two paintings on display, one is called “failure” and the other is called “growth”, these artwork tells my life’s journey,” he said.

“The artists that are showcasing their work were all part of my journey as an artist from when I graduated in 1998 from Leulumoega Fou School of Fine Arts [untill] Manamea Art Studio in 2019. 

“But the exhibition is more of a reunion. I used to be a teacher at the fine arts school.”

He said that one of his own paintings - “failure” - depicts the Samoan myth of Vaea and Apaula.

“In the artwork it showcases Vaea in pain, sorrow and a feeling of having failed his wife Apaula after her brothers killed their child but it was too late his body turned into a mountain," he said. 

“The inspiration behind my failure painting depicts my journey in various parts of my life where I failed in my duties and responsibilities as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband.

“It can also relate to Samoa experiencing a measles outbreak and how it has led to so many deaths, the colour red represents suffering, sadness, loss.”

Mr. Peseta added that his other artwork - “growth” - represents overcoming obstacles when Apaula sought help from Vaea’s brother to seek revenge for the death of their child.

“But you can never succeed unless you have tasted failure and overcame it,” he said.

“As a Samoan artist I try my best to depict or include the Samoan culture within all my paintings because it is part of who I am and my identity.

“A challenge I faced while painting is having not enough sleep, during the day we have other obligations such as the tattooing and birthday carvings which leaves us with only night time to paint and leaving us with only three or four hours sleep.

“Art is my passion in life and it is my God-given talent, so many artists helped me in my journey and I am grateful for their help which has enabled me to be who I am today.

Ms. Mariner said that one of her paintings depicted her journey with her husband, Mr. Peseta.

“One of my paintings of a mermaid symbolizes myself and the dragon wrapped around the mermaid is my husband who was born in the year of the dragon," she said. 

“The painting signifies our bond, when we are together we have a very creative partnership like we feel inspired from one another.”

The artists being displayed in an Artist's Journey include: Kalolo Brown, Lautiti Falevai, Leutogi Falevai, Ioane Ioane, Nikki Mariner, William Mauola, Regina Meredith, Papalii Penehuro Muta, Losbanos Pinoyll, Enari Pouniu, Filemoni Robertson, Pele Tamiano, Vanya Taulealo, Nukualofa Tofete, Wong Chiu Tuipoloa, and Mr. Peseta.

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