Meet the Artists: Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki
A sister collab that features objects of memory that connect them to their grandfather
Cora-Allan and Kelly’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020
Originally from Waitakere, Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator, who likes to examine and explore representations of Indigenous people through her work. Her sister Kelly Lafaiki, based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) is a student of hiapo and has helped to collaborate on the exhibition piece.
Exploring themes of ceremony and memory we are re-tracing using silhouetted objects filled with the language of hiapo to share stories of Niue that were passed down at the food table from our grandparents.
Stories of Niue, dances, mena kai and songs were shared throughout our childhood in comfortable and often uncomfortable moments of learning dances and how to cook traditional dishes.
“Our grandparents guided us with stern voices when we were young but grew softer as we all aged. Time spent together over meals and over beers became an environment of admiration and learning.”Cora-Allan Wickliffe, 2019
These moments would tie them to becoming hiapo makers and this current work explores the moments of mourning they experienced with the passing of their Grandfather Vakaafi Lafaiki in April 2019.
As a contemporary practitioner of hiapo (Niuean barkcloth), Wickliffe has revived a sleeping artform. Her work is very important to her community and has been exhibited in Australia, Aotearoa, England and Niue. Currently, Wickliffe is the curator and exhibitions manager at Corbans Estate Arts Centre.
Moana Legacy @ Tautai Gallery, 6 July – 18 September 2020