solomon islands (born 1954)

The journey through time can be viewed as a line, straight for some, for me spiralling as my past continues to impact on the present, the unfolding future.

The medium, Mother of Pearl, is still utilised today in my homeland. For me it’s a link to my village upbringing. I have used some motifs from my childhood to signify my roots. The other motifs move from realism through to abstract in line with my adapting and blending with Aotearoa.

Steven Gwaliasi
 Finding Myself 2007
 pearl shell, saw blade
 collection of the artist

Steven Gwaliasi’s carvings explore the traditions of the ornaments known as kap-kap, particularly those from the island of Malaita. Frequently these pendants contain design references to both ancestors and to the spectacular frigate bird.

References to the culture’s extensive history of voyaging are regularly contained in Solomon Islands works of art; where the movement across oceans, in the presence of birds and fishes, is celebrated.