’Ei katu exhibition draws art lovers

Thursday May 18, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Environmentalist and traditional voyager Ian Karika, BSP general manager David Street and Rory Quirke. 17051726 Environmentalist and traditional voyager Ian Karika, BSP general manager David Street and Rory Quirke. 17051726

The opening exhibition of Tabatha Forbes’ latest work at Bergman Gallery on Tuesday night received an overwhelming response from Rarotonga’s art lovers.

 

Auckland-based contemporary painter and artist Forbes exhibited a limited edition print run from a series of her original paintings of ’ei katu (head ei).

It was her tribute to the ’ei katu culture in the Cook Islands.

The opening night for the exhibition, which will run until June 24, featured eight print runs of her paintings which she started working on in 2015.

They were inspired by the ’ei katu Cook Islands women wear to work as well as social and special occasions.

Teacher, dancer, composer and choreographer Teina Etches was guest speaker at the event.

She explained the origins of ’ei katu in the Cook Islands and its importance to the people.

Etches said ’ei katu was for everyone, adding it gave a sense of belonging to the people of the Cook Islands.

Forbes, who began taking photographs and talking to women about their ’ei katu in 2015, said her selection of paintings had come from events and occasions she experienced while living on Rarotonga.

The artist, who has a doctorate in Fine Art, said her latest work was a tribute to both the

makers of the ’ei katu she depicted, and the beautiful women of the Cook Islands who wore ’ei katu.

Bergman Gallery director Ben Bergman said earlier that Forbes’ project addressed the importance of connecting people and place through the cultural use and value of the plants around them, notably reflected in the islands head ’ei/’ei katu making.

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