Hauhau Heilala O Tupou To’a
Tui Emma Gillies and Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows
Materials: Tapa cloth, Kupesi, Umea and ink.
Size: 80cm x 60cm
Exhibited as part of Locked In Under The Stars, sponsored by Creative New Zealand
story from the artists
Tui and I had planned to go to Nuku’alofa to buy some tapa cloth and stock up for an exhibition in Hawaii. But COVID-19 put a stop to our trip to Tonga and forced the postponement of the exhibition in Hawaii.
Nothing makes you more homesick for the islands than being told you can’t go there. So sitting in Kawakawa and Auckland, where we worked on these pieces, I began to feel very nostalgic for Tonga and very soon I was painting this piece. It was the closest thing I had to being home again.