Working in the Space Between: Pacific Artists in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Date
2009
Authors
Whimp, Graeme
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Honolulu: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Abstract
Using critiques of essentialism and pluralism as a backdrop, in this essay I survey the works of eleven Pacific Island visual artists, and consider the cultural space they occupy in pursuing their creative practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Although a variety of concepts have been deployed by commentators and the artists themselves to describe that space—such as balance, blending, duality, synthesis, fusion, hybridity, liminality, interface, creolization, and vā—I advocate the use of sociologist Fredric Thrasher’s concept of interstitiality to better understand the nature of the cultural and productive space occupied by these artists.
Description
Paper submitted to The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific; based on the indigenous Oceanic concept, va, a space marked by tension and transformation and by confluences and connections
Keywords
Pacific, Polynesia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, artists, visual arts, migration, interstitiality
Citation
Whimp, G. 2009. Working in the Space Between: Pacific Artists in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific, edited by A. Marata Tamaira, 9-23. Occasional Paper Series 44. Honolulu, Hawai‘i: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
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