Group photograph Women’s Wealth team, Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre, Chabai, Bougainville, September 2017 / Photograph: Sister Tekla
Back from left: Sister Lorraine Garasu, Joy Pazebeto Madada, Imelda Teqae, Sister Theresita Alona, Elisa Jane Carmichael, Elizabeth Saman, Janet Fieldhouse, Emma Makusu, Jesmaine Sakoi Gano, Georgianna Lepping, Kay Lawrence, Sana Balai, Adelaide Aniona, The Hon. Josephine Getsi, Cameron Darragh, Marilyn Havini
Centre from left: Taloi Havini, Gwendalyn Dasumoe, Helen Miriona, Ruth McDougall, Kiria Asike, Aida Pais, Pauline Anis
Front: Elizabeth Marata and Josephine Kepaku
Co-curator: Sana Balai, Project Co-ordinator: Marilyn Havini, Artists: Sister Theresita ALONA, Adelaide Mekea ANIONA, Pauline Kimei ANIS, Kiria ASIKE, Elisa Jane CARMICHAEL, Gwendalyn Dava DAMUSOE, Janet FIELDHOUSE, Jesmaine Sakoi GANO, Taloi HAVINI, Josephine Manta KAEPAKU, Kay LAWRENCE, Georgianna Maetale LEPPING, Joy Wongatina Pazabeto MADADA, Emma Hopuhopu MAKUSU, Elizabeth Gawa MARATA, Helen Dusimoi MIRIONA, Aida Hilo PAIS, Elizabeth Watsi SAMAN, Imelda Vaevavini TEQAE / Support: Prisca Suana, Maria Wotsugogha, Milceller Gabu, Lucy Makoro, Maria Hugese, Therese Harohi, Rachael Hakot, Elizabeth Lambert, Lydian Havini, Judith Pena, Nancy Butu, Rose Peter, Papou Pirian, Christie Tohua, Hakö Women’s Collective, Solomon’s Artist Alliance, Choiseul Provincial Council for Women, Nazareth. Rehabilitation Centre and the Australian High Commission, Port Moresby.Women’s Wealth is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Gordon Darling Foundation, Queen Emma Chocolates, QUT Creative Industires, Brisbane Bougainville Community Group Inc. and the Cairns Bougainville Association. The Solomon Islands artists’ participation has been supported by QAGOMA’s Oceania Women’s Fund, enabled by the generous bequest of Jennifer Phipps.
Women’s Wealth is a major project focusing on the closely connected matrilineal societies of Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, and the art forms made by women — from cane and pandanus weaving, to shell ornamentation and earthenware pottery.
As the title suggests, the project explores ideas of value and the role of these art forms as a kind of wealth or currency. Developed out of a week-long workshop in Bougainville, and additionally involving artists Elisa Jane Carmichael, Janet Fieldhouse, Kay Lawrence and Taloi Havini, Women’s Wealth highlights the significance of creative spaces — such as the weaving circle — within indigenous communities. The project emphasises the ways in which women’s practices act as a quiet means of resilience in the face of major historical changes.
Women’s Wealth is co-curated with Sana Balai, a respected curator and elder in the Pacific community in Australia. It will also include a major new video installation by Taloi Havini, contextualising the project and workshops.