Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

“SOUTH-VERSED” art showcase South Auckland artists

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Artist: Jesse G aka CocoShakim.
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Kendall Vano | Reporter

SOUTH-VERSED, a thrilling contemporary art exhibition in Devonport, Auckland, is set to captivate art enthusiasts with its dynamic and innovative collection of artworks.

Featuring ten contemporary artists connected to South Auckland, the exhibition aims to bridge commonalities among people and foster unity of creative expression.


One of the standout artists is Jesse G, aka Cocoshakim, whose thought-provoking works draw inspiration from the natural world and the transformative power of nature.

“One of my pieces incorporates organic materials that evolve over time, symbolising growth and change,” says Jessie.

Cocoshakim says Graffiti has influenced artistic journey, allowing them to give a voice to unseen faces and unheard voices in South Auckland.

Faleata Ualesi is a self taught, Samoan artist whose hand drawn contemporary Pasefika patterns and motifs have become his current signature.

Artist Faleata Ualesi contributions to the exhibition have been a welcome addition to the gallery.

“My pieces on display right now are a continued development of motifs shown through grids and pacific patterns creating eye-popping optical effects”.

“I’ve been recently playing with the patterns and motifs with three-dimensional, and expressions of light, darkness and colours with two instalments of light cubes,” says Faleata.

Linda Va’aelua is of Samoan Scottish heritage and grew up in the West Auckland suburb of Te Atatu South.

Linda Va’aelua, the latest artist to join SOUTH-VERSED this year, says she is no stranger to the area.

“I grew up visiting the area [Devonport] as a kid growing up, I was taken a around with my grandparents”

“All of my work reflects my heritage, being both Samoan and Palagi. Being Scottish on my grandfather’s side.”

“In my work on display at the moment, I use a lot of abstract pacific patterns, a lot of samoan tatau layered on cloth”

Artwork: Vanya and Neo, a portrait by Iokapeta Magele-Suamasi (Right) with a hand-carved frame by Amosa Tualamalii (Left)

One of the stand out pieces for Linda was from artist and curator Iokapeta Magele-Suamasi.

“I enjoy her use of dogs especially in her hologram and the creative ways she utilises the Samoan flag. I’ve been looking forward to viewing her work,” she says.

Returning from the 2022 exhibition at Fresh Gallery, Ōtara, are artists Iokapeta Magele- Suamasi, Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u and Katrina Iosia, who present their latest creations.

Newcomers Andy Leleisi’uao, Raymond Sagapolutele, Sione Faletau, and Diana Hu also join this year’s showcase.

The SOUTH-VERSED exhibition will be open to the public from June 15th to July 30th at the Devonport Gallery.



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