Maketi Ples 5th Birthday opens with a bang!


10313494_713585855451959_7448986390706503769_nMaketi Ples, opened last week for the 5th year running with great success.

The annual contemporary Pacific Art Exhibition celebrates a milestone for Pacific Islands Trade & Invest Sydney, who started the Creative Arts programme in 2010 to  promote the work of local Pacific artists in the international markets. Over 100 people attended the Shapiro Gallery in Woollahra, Sydney, ranging from consular staff from Canberra based High Commissions of Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and even Argentina attended the event this year.

The opening night sales exceeded expectations with AUD$12,000 sold to a range of different buyers. Top of the bill went to the colourful Bilum fashions from PNG, who stole the show. Six Bilum dresses made by Florence Jaukae sold within the first 10 minutes of the opening. Ms Jaukae, an artist and the founder of the Bilum Weavers Association, who also featured in an earlier Pacific Periscope edition. Other hot items were Bilum bags from Omie Artists, a cooperative of artists from the Eastern Mountains of Oro province PNG and the women of the Bilum Weavers Association based in Goroka, PNG’s Eastern Highlands Province. The carvings from the Solomon Islands and coconut fibre products from Tonga were also in high demand.

PT&I Sydney Acting Trade Commissioner Jeremy Grennell commented on the increasing popularity of the event and the events opening night success. “Maketi Ples goes from strength to strength. It is an integral annual program that we offer to artists and artisans from the Pacific Islands to gain access to the Australian market for their works. The Artist’s Talk on Saturday was well attended and highlights the thirst for knowledge in the Australian market for work coming from the Pacific Islands. ” Adding to the ambience of the evening, Maketi Ples guests were serenaded with Pacific music from three Pacific guitarists and singers. Read more.