Photo: Lana Lopesi

International collaboration ‘Lukautim Solwara’ set to actiVAte Asia TOPA

Led by renowned international artist Rosanna Raymond (SAM/NZ), a group of emerging First Nations artists will bring their mana (power and honour) to the table through performance, art and adornment in Lukautim Solwara, an immersive new cross-disciplinary experience created especially for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia TOPA) on Saturday 18 February 2017.

Presented by Next Wave, Raymond will collaborate on the unique performance installation with indigenous artists from Australia and the Pacific, including Léuli Eshraghi (SAM/IRN/AUS), Reina Sutton (SLB/NZ) and Jaimie Waititi (NZ).

Lukautim Solwara translates from Tok Pisin (Pidgin English) and Solomon Islands Pijin as “to look out for, or look after, the ocean.” This title refers to a shared connection to land and sea between Raymond and the collaborating artists, but it also carries an ominous edge, alluding to the rising sea levels endangering the homelands of many Pacific communities. Raymond and the collaborating artists also rely heavily on the Samoan concept of va, an understanding of space as ‘active’ – not as empty and passive, but activated by people, relationships and reciprocal obligations.

Using Raymond’s unique intensive development process, cultivated during her time working in the UK, the artists will spend two weeks at Arts House, North Melbourne from which they will explore the Pacific and Indigenous collections of the Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria, hosting community workshops, and working together using the intensity and cultural foundation of the wānanga (a place to meet, deliberate, consider, learn) together with open space methodology. The resulting presentation will be an explosive and immersive experience open to the public, with full details announced and tickets available in December.

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