Ioane Ioane

Malosi (Strength)

Malosi (Strength) by Ioane Ioane

Artwork Detail

'My works are abstract, they don't look Polynesian as far as traditional forms go, but they do as an evolution of that genre . . . its spirit is still there'. Born in New Zealand of Samoan descent, John Ioane develops in his work an interplay between the spirit of traditional Samoa and the culture of contemporary New Zealand. He makes paintings, sculpture and installations and incorporates his own performances into the blessing of each of his works. This sculpture expresses the significance of the seas that connect the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific, an 'ancient internet'. Malosi celebrates the strength of women from childhood through maturity to old age and has echoes of Samoan mythological stories which include many representations of women and girls as shells, trees and water. In this work Malosi is a swaying hermaphroditic plant/shell, surrounded by cowry shells, her daughters, who have been washed ashore to join her. Ioane says: 'The strength and beauty of the cowry shell inspired the shape of these sculptures. "Malosi" is most often seen, or portrayed, as the physicality of the male . . . The reality of soul-strength lies predominantly in women. If men are receptive they too can find the strength of their women ancestors - the woman-spirit in all. Why else would nature be "mother"?'. (from The Guide, 2001)

Malosi (Strength)
Ioane Ioane
Production date
Douglas fir, oregon pine and slate
2100 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased in 1997
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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