Adam Art Gallery launches survey of Edith Amituanai’s photography

Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi recently celebrated the opening of its latest exhibition with a bang, or more accurately, the sound of sirens blaring.

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From left: Edith Amituanai, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Hon Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, Mrs Sagapolu, Ane Tonga. Image credit: Shaun Matthews

The exhibition Edith Amituanai: Double Take surveys the work of leading photographer Edith Amituanai, who came to attention in the early 2000s for her large-scale colour photographs of her family, friends, and wider Pacific community. Featuring over 60 photographs both inside and outside the Gallery, Amituanai brings an insider’s view to the nuances of social custom and the complexities of migrant life.

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Hon Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, who opened the exhibition, says “There was such an amazing crowd and a palpable energy throughout the night. Through Edith’s work and the support of Gallery staff, Victoria University of Wellington was able to showcase a significant exhibition by a Pasifika artist of enduring importance.”

Adam Art Gallery Director Christina Barton says “I’m proud to have provided a platform for guest curator Ane Tonga to survey the work of this significant artist. As was fitting for the occasion, Edith’s family and friends, many of whom had travelled down from Auckland especially for the occasion, were out in force alongside the Wellington art community. We’re proud to have launched the exhibition in this fashion.”

A special feature of the evening was the spontaneous arrival of L.A.P.S. crew, a local version of the Auckland collective Siren Crew who feature in Amituanai’s large-scale image on the façade of the Gallery. Such collectives are renowned for their distinctive sound systems that are fixed to a range of vehicles, from cars to push bikes, enabling them to play music virtually anywhere.

Double Take is supported by a public programme which continues throughout the exhibition, including a discussion series organised by Herbert Bartley with the artist, featuring leading Pacific voices and performances.

For more information visit Adam Art Gallery’s website. The exhibition is on until 14 July 2019.