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Community Day | Stitching the Sea

by Jodie Polutele

Blacktown Arts presents Stitching the Sea, an ongoing program that explores climate issues affecting our Pacific communities.

Stitching the Sea showcases the rich body of work by artists Latai Taumoepeau and Angela Tiatia to explore how artists address global warming.

“Pacific island countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and the people of the Pacific have a history of resilience in the face of extreme weather events,” Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali MP said.

“The Stitching the Sea program is an example of our sustained engagement with our growing Pacific community, and working with them on projects that tackle important community concerns.”

The program begins with a Community Day on Saturday 22 September 2018 at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

“Climate change is not abstract for me,” Angela Tiatia said. “For much of my youth I grew up in a small village on the island of Savai’i in Samoa. My family home now floods regularly.

“We can no longer grow our staple foods on our property as the soil has become saline,”

Visitors will be able to take part in a video workshop with Angela Tiatia to record their own feelings about climate change in the Pacific region, and view stunning video works by the artist.

The Australian Cook Island Community Council will present a series of performances and invite visitors to share food from the Pacific region.

Visitors are also able to complete a circuit of Latai Taumoepeau’s Hg57 installation to help create a single ice cube from human energy.

Latai Taumoepeau will be available until 6 October 2018, to host a series of gatherings, exchanges and actions around climate change activism that addresses key questions such as: What can I do? How can we engage our communities? How can we lobby the Australian Government to take action?

Video works by Angela Tiatia – Tuvalu, Holding on and Salt Stone – will continue for the duration of the exhibition (27 October 2018). These works focus on the island of Tuvalu and help to convey the value of these islands and their people, and to make clear what is being lost through rising sea levels.

Visitors can also enjoy an installation by the Australian Cook Island Community Council, and view archival works by Latai Taumoepeau, and other artists and organisations from around the globe whose work addresses climate change issues.

Stitching the Sea is part of the Oceania Rising: Climate Change in Our Region partnership with the Australian Museum and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, a program raising awareness and engagement in climate change issues.

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Community Day Program of Events
Saturday 22 September 2018
From 10 am  –
Latai Taumoepeau’s interactive installation on climate change
10 am – 1 pm –
Video workshop with Angela Tiatia
12 noon – 2 pm – Viewing of Pacific cultural objects from the Australian Museum (booking essential)
1 pm – BBQ lunch
2 pm – 5 pm – Performances by artists from the Cook Islands community

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