Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) is currently showcasing an exciting new exhibition entitled 'Bittersweet', curated by Western Sydney artist, Shivanjani Lal.
The exhibition features the work of ten iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) and Indo-Fijian artists, including Manisha Anjali, Mohini Chandra, Quishile Charan, Yasbelle Kerkow, C.A Moses, Dulcie Stewart, Luisa Tora, Sangeeta Singh, Emele Ugavale, and Shivanjani Lal and explores their connection to Fiji and how the island's food, language and stories colours their art.
As you enter the exhibition, a haunting sound work by Manisha Anjali greets you, in an offering to the spirits of family and ancestors.
Once inside, Mohini Chandra's three-part video work explores what happens when you return home after everyone has left; Quishile Charan collaborates with the women in her family to learn craft techniques, using the natural materials they've helped her source; Yasbelle Kerkow uses fish skin tanning to create prints that connect cultural practices learned from family, and printmaking skills learned in Australia, to explore ideas of skin and mark making.
UK-based artist C.A Moses finds Fiji in his Barra Amma (mother's sister), a woman who has lived in Kent for over forty years. In a series of photographs taken in her home, what he captures speaks to what we hold onto and remember of home as we move further away from it; and Dulcie Stewart uses contemporary painted Fijian street signage to recreate the visual language of Fijian market stalls and shops.
Through a video work, filmed in Auckland, Luisa Tora and Sangeeta Singh explore their relationship as artists, friends, and Fijians living overseas as they mold clay together to create a new landscape for themselves; and Emele Ugavale uses collage and storytelling to share the tale of her family, using language and story as a lens through which ideas of the past are both connected and distorted when a story is being told.
Shivanjani Lal is a Fijian-Indian Australian artist based in Western Sydney who works with photography, video, and performance. She was recently named the 2019 Create NSW and Artspace NSW Emerging Visual Arts Fellow. Her work in 'Bittersweet' is a series of instant prints, printed onto recycled brown paper sourced in Bombay. It is part of an ongoing archival project in which Lal takes a hundred photographs on each return visit to Fiji.
Casula Powerhouse invites audiences to celebrate all things 'Bittersweet' on the 26th September from 11.00 am -1.00 pm. Join the discussion with curator, Shivanjani Lal and academic, Dr Asha Chand. The discussion will consider the importance of memory, objects and ideas of home, and how these experiences shape our world.