Reconnecting the V

Dulcie Stewart / Reconnecting the V 2015 / Photograph on canvas, cotton. 31 x 29 in.

This work explores and celebrates the relationships between visual culture and contemporary Fijian identities through Fijian symbols, motifs and iconography found in the Australian urban landscape. These linkages in the captured landscape evoke memories of home and belonging.

Through personal reflection and dialogue with Murri artist Simon Rose about our shared history of displacement and loss of language through colonialism, ‘Reconnecting the V’ contextualises the narratives of my Fijian/settler heritage against forced labels and identity. 

In ‘Reconnecting the V’ I am recentering myself in the folds of the ‘V’, a visual reference to the vanua and Fijian design elements found in na ibe, tapa, and qia (woven mats, decorated bark cloth and tattoo).

Commissioned by Blak Dot Gallery in collaboration with The Counihan Gallery for Both Sides of The Street, curated by Kimba Thompson (Curator) and Eugenia Flynn (Assistant Curator), 16 June – 3 July 2015, The Counihan Gallery, Melbourne