The Fiji Islands are my home, and source of inspiration, as I use dyes, paint, barkcloth, sand, silk and cement to respond in my own creative way to the challenges, tension, and beauty of life in a developing Pacific island nation.
Sea changes can have surprising effects: since leaving behind all that was familiar in my American/German upbringing, to build a life here in my husband’s homeland two decades ago, my art has taken on dynamism of its own… My work is awash with the intense, vibrant colors of the tropics, and my themes are often an exploration of Fiji’s stunning natural environment and rich cultural heritage.
Traditional barkcloth crafted by women from my mother-in-law’s island village often serves as my canvas. Steeped in local history, this papery material is made from the inner bark of tropical mulberry trees. My other medium of choice is dyes and resist on white silk, though I’m known to experiment with clay, cement, and glass, as well as the occasional collage project.
Fiji’s fledgling contemporary art scene is in break-out mode, and being part of this process is exhilarating. Outreach projects with children, and advocacy work with grass-roots creatives striving for fair opportunity, have all evolved around my work in our home-based studio in Nadi, Fiji, where I live with my husband and three children. My work has won awards in various local and national exhibitions, and commissions include feature pieces for a number of internationally renowned hotel chains and corporate offices.
For more on my art and latest projects, find me at Sigavou Studios on Facebook or visit our website: www.art-sigavou.com.