“You’re travelling to a country that you’re not necessarily connected to via birthright or heritage, just by a name you’ve been given. It was quite an emotional attachment, but I had no real rights to take total ownership of the project.”
Our latest artist talk is with Northland-based multidisciplinary artist Filani Macassey, about My Name Comes From This Place – an exhibition about stepping over the threshold and making connections.
Filani, who was brought up in Fiji and New Zealand, discusses how she travelled to Cyprus in 2019 to visit the historic village of Filani (after which her father named her). Her artworks address her journey in Cyprus, her father’s WWII experience in the Long Range Desert Group, and the Green Line dividing Greeks and Turks in Cyprus today.
Filani also discusses her use of Fijian masi, and wool, to honour her parents’ heritage, and explore ideas of ownership and belonging.