Andy Leleisi'uao

Waking Up To my Polynesian Spine

Waking Up To my Polynesian Spine by Andy Leleisi'uao

Artwork Detail

Waking up to My Polynesian Spine is a key achievement in the history of contemporary Pacific art at Auckland. It was painted in Christchurch while the artist was working at the University of Canterbury having received the MacMillan Brown Residency.

The painting brings together the confronting issues resulting from Samoan immigration to New Zealand. It contrasts ideas about Pacific diaspora, the 1974 Dawn Raids in South Auckland that demanded the repatriation of Pacific ‘over stayers’. For New Zealand born children of Pacific immigrants it was a time of cultural rejection based on an unlawful interpretation of law.

Waking Up To my Polynesian Spine
Production date
oil on canvas
1380 x 1980 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2014
Accession no
Other ID
X2012/3 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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