Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists Pacific Sisters: He Toa Tāera

Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists is a celebration of mana wāhine, indigenous identities, and the role this collective has played over the past 26 years – through their collaborative works across fashion, performance, music, and film – in giving voice and visibility to Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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The Pacific Sisters is a collective of Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists, performers, and musicians that electrified 1990s Auckland.

The group began on the fringes, but their ground-breaking style and performances brought the urban lives of a New Zealand–born Pacific generation into the mainstream spotlight.

The Pacific Sisters include ground-breaking artists Lisa Reihana, Rosanna Raymond, Ani O’Neill, Suzanne Tamaki, Selina Haami, Niwhai Tupaea, Henzart @ Henry Ah-Foo Taripo, Feeonaa Wall, and Jaunnie ‘Ilolahia.

They once described themselves as being like the Polynesian version of Andy Warhol’s factory – an ever-evolving collective of artists coming together to create art, music, fashion, and film.

“Our work is a reflection of the ‘spark’ we have had as Pacific Sisters – finding our connections to our Pacific stories, peoples, lands, each other,” Ani O’Neill says.

“For me, Pacific Sisters is a safe space to push boundaries. We might seem a bit hardcore and serious to some, but we have a lot of fun – we like to laugh and play with words as well as frocks.”

This is their first major retrospective.

This exhibition also toured to Auckland Art Gallery, 23 Feb — 14 Jul 2019

Exhibition highlights Taonga whakaatu

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