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By Libby Curran
September 14, 2020
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Bittersweet

See how ten artists living overseas have stayed connected to their Fijian roots.
By Libby Curran
September 14, 2020
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With the world swept up in a global pandemic, the concept of 'home' and that connection to one's roots feels as prevalent as ever right now. And it's these ideas that are at the forefront of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre's new exhibition Bittersweet. Put together by Western Sydney artist Shivanjani Lal and running until Sunday, September 27, this one features works from ten iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) and Indo Fijian artists, as they explore their own connections to home.

The broad-ranging collection shares a diverse set of stories of people living far from their homeland, reflecting on the ways in which Pacific culture has filtered into new lives in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. You'll catch a glimpse into how the artists' Fijian roots have coloured their practice, how they've held onto traditional values, and how they've fostered a connection to the food and rituals of their ancestors.

Shivanjani Lal in her studio.

Artist Dulcie Stewart pays homage to the distinctive visual stylings of Fiji's market stalls and shops with a work crafted from contemporary Fijian street signage, Quishile Charan has rallied women in her family to help source natural materials for a series celebrating traditional Pacific craft techniques, and a three-part video work by Mohini Chandra reflects on what it's like to return to your homeland after everyone else has left. Meanwhile, Fijian Indian artist Lal showcases her own work, featuring instant prints made on recycled brown paper sourced from Bombay, capturing moments from her own homeland visits.

Images: Bittersweet exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and 'Chhaapaa' (2020) by Shivanjani Lal.

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