Maketi Ples Tok Tok

23/02/2012

<p style="text-align: justify;">Visitors arrived early and the till was ringing hot on the opening night of Maketi Ples 2012 earlier this week. The three week exhibition at the Global Art Gallery in Paddington, Sydney, celebrates the work of 13 Pacific Island based artists and artisans hosted by Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Building on last year’s successful inaugural Maketi Ples, the opening night was filled with an air of excitement but if on the night sales are anything to go this year will be just as popular and successful as the first.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Organiser Ruth Choulai and her PT&amp;I team gathered together artists and artisans from Pacific Island countries from throughout Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Contemporary Pacific visual artists equally complemented by artisans with the clay art from Papua New Guinea, bone carvings and a stunning handcrafted dress made of Kafa (Braided coconut fibre) from Tonga and beautiful hand crafted works from Fiji.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Up to 100 people – a mixture of collectors, buyers and supporters mingled with the artists on opening night. The Samoan siva and an energetic fire dancer sent pulses racing – and the fire alarms ringing.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">However, it was the opening night sales and an increasing interest and support from the Australian marketplace that has an immediate economic impact for Pacific artists. Papua New Guinea Investment Promotions Authority Acting Marketing Manager Julienne Leka-Maliaki said the exhibition has direct benefits with artists making sales on opening night. It was a great opportunity for artists to promote directly to buyers.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Anticipation for the exhibition began earlier in the week from visitors popping into the rustic gallery as the art was gradually going up. The gallery, though signposted, is not easy to find, tucked quietly down a narrow sloping side street in the heart of Paddington, surrounded by terraced houses of Australia’s recent past. The two-storied gallery entrance is a shop front with a large roller door is a great setting amongst some of Sydney’s more affluent and arty population.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Photo: Maketi Ples event in Sydney.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Photo by Eleanor Ikinofo.</p>

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