Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exhibition of New Tapa Work by Merlada Warren

Meralda Warren
We are very excited to be hosting an exhibition of new tapa works by Pitcairn Island artist Meralda Warren, which will be opened by Meralda herself. Meralda has become Pitcairn Island’s most original artist.  In 2007 she decided to learn and revive the art of tapa making on Pitcairn. She exhibited for the first time in 2008 in Tahiti during the Tahiti Bounty Day festivities and here on Norfolk Island in 2009 with the ‘Ahu Sistas Jean Clarkson, Sue Pearson and Pauline Reynolds.  Since then she has developed her practice even further and her tapa paintings are now held in collections all over the world.

Meralda’s latest tapa paintings were recently on display at the Te Papa Museum Maori and Pacific Textiles Symposium where she was the keynote speaker along with Pauline Reynolds. The paintings were also exhibited at the British High Commissioner’s Residence during a Showcase Event built around Meralda’s presence in Wellington.  This event focused on a ‘Positive Pitcairn’ and many of New Zealand’s important tourism movers and shakers were present.
Scraping the outer bark

Meralda will be visiting Norfolk for two weeks and we now have the opportunity to see these latest paintings. Included with her work will be “Pitcairn’s Next Generation Tapa” – four works by young Pitcairn Islanders. Through teaching young Pitcairn Islanders the art of tapa making, Meralda is single handedly ensuring that this knowledge will not be lost to future generations.

Everyone is warmly invited to the opening this Tuesday 28th June between 5.00pm and 7.00pm in the R.E.O. Café and Bookshop. The exhibition will then be open between 9.00am and 3.00pm Mondays to Fridays, finishing on Friday 8th July.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two New Donations

At this week’s Museum Trust meeting two new donations were formally accepted into the collection. We are always grateful and welcoming of donations that help to tell aspects of Norfolk’s story and both these donations do that.

Ned Lenthal has donated a very beautiful antique hand coloured print of a view of Kingston, made by Fred B. Schell in 1886. Schell was an American illustrator who was brought out to Australia to produce views for a series made to mark 100 years of Australia’s settlement. He was active in Australia from 1886 to 1889. Not only has Ned donated the print he has also kindly offered to frame it ready for display. Once framed it will be displayed in the Commissariat Store exhibition. 

Some of the wonderful items donated by Annette Stolz
Annette Stolz has also made a very generous donation of a collection of hand-made items that she collected while on Pitcairn Island in 1993. Included are 12 wooden fish and boats, 12 woven hats and baskets, 3 painted hattie leafs, 8 shell necklaces, 1 wooden doll, 1 woven hat brim and 3 commemorative coins. What makes this collection special is that Annette knew who had made each item and was able to tell us the story of their making. Among the makers are Jacob Warren, Dave Brown, Royal Warren, Carol Warren, Irma Christian, Thelma Brown, Denis Christian and Ben Christian. The brightly coloured woven bags had not faded at all as Annette had kept them away from all light sources.
Top shark by Denis Christian, bottom by Ben Christian

All donations to the museum are put before the Museum Trust who formally accept them into the collection. For acceptance into the collection, we do have a set of criteria that needs to be met. We require that items fit within our collection areas, have a good provenance or information available regarding when it was made, who by, who has owned it, how it was used etc. Items that are very fragile or in such a poor condition that we are not able to care for them cannot be accepted. Once accepted, each item is entered into the database with the donor recorded and are given a unique museum code. They are then either put on display or stored for later display. With objects that are sensitive to light such as Annette’s bags and Ned’s print, they may go on exhibition for a short period only, displayed away from direct light sources.

Of course one of the benefits of donating objects to the museum is that they are able to be enjoyed by the wider Norfolk Island community, our visitors to the island and also made available to researchers. All are cared for by museum staff including receiving any conservation that may be required over time. Please contact us if you would like any information about donating items to the museum.

Wooden doll by Jacob Warren