Putahi Ono 2018, Cook Islands
A Gathering of Polynesian Artists

Presented by Bluesky, Pacific Ink, Toki Creative, CITC Liquor, Turama Photography & Bergman Gallery .

Opening Exhibition: Tuesday 15th May, 6pm @ Bergman Gallery with CITC Liquor.

Stormy Kara, Putahi Ono 2018 Coordinator
Justina Nicholas, Cook Islands National Museum Director, Ministry of Cultural Development, Tauranga Vananga
Don Ratana, Co-Founder, Putahi.

Master of Ceremony: Tony Fe’ao.

Closing Exhibition Friday 25th May, 6pm @ Bergman Gallery with CITC Liquor.

Shane Andrew, Putahi Ono 2018 Coordinator
Anthony Turua, Secretary, Minister of Cultural Development, Tauranga Vananga
Tavita Latu: Head, Tongan Delegation

Master of Ceremony: Tony Fe’ao.

Participating Artists by Country

New Caledonia
Francia Boi – Painting
Agourere Patrice – Painting

Lehuanani Waipā Ah Nee – Photography
Joyce Ama Lilly – Hala Weaving
Kini Burke – Carving
Cory Taum – Painting | Street Art
Christian Kapuni – Photography

Kingdom of Tonga
Tavita Latu – Painting

Aimee Ratana – Photography
Don Ratana – Painting
Regan Balzer – Painting
Terina Te Karu – Taa Moko | Mixed Media
Whetu Horo – Painter
Mitchell Tareha – Carving | Painting
Georgia Larkins – Weaving

French Polynesia | Tahiti
Viri Taimana – Painting | Digital Art
Tokainiua Devatine – Installation
Vaihere Taura – Painting | Sculpture
Hihirau Vaitoare – Carving
Herenui Garbutt – Sculpture
Rave Tchoun You Thung Hee – Sculpture
Jean-Luc Tao Chan – Sculpture
Theo Souverain – Painting

Cook Islands
Shane Andrew – Painting | Fabric Design
Stormy Kara – Carving
Raniera Ellison – Carving
Nanave Nanave – Weaving
Teariki Wichman – Street Art

Putahi 2018 Schedule of Events

Carving – Mitchell Tareha & Stormy Kara, Saturday 12th 1.30pm, Atiu Hostel.
Weaving – Georgia Larkins & Nanave Taime,  Monday 14th 1.30pm, Atiu Hostel.
Costume – Kenzo Rima, Tuesday 15th 1.30pm., Atiu Hostel.
Painting – Regan Balzer & Ani Dune, Wednesday 16th 1.30pm, Atiu Hostel.
Photography – Aimee Ratana & Lehua Waipa Ah Nee, Friday 18th 1.30pm @ Bergman Gallery with Intellectual Property & Gallery Management,  Shane Andrew & Ben Bergman, Friday 18th 2.30pm @ Bergman Gallery.

School Partnership
Tuesday 15th Tereora College – Tahitian Artists will visit and present to art students.
Wednesday 16th Nukutere College – Aotearoa and New Caledonian Artists will visit and present to art students.
Thursday 17th Avarua Apii – Hawaiian Artists will visit and present to students.

Public Open workshop
The public is welcome to visit the studio hub (Atiu Hostel) from 1.30pm each day during the gathering.

Artists Talk
Tuesday 22nd 10am, Atiu Hostel.
Artists will give their views about the importance of indigenous art and how it benefits culture, environment and our youth.

Putahi Ono Exhibition Statement 

A Gathering of Polynesian artists: The purpose of the gathering is to give indigenous people the opportunity to work on themes related to heritage, traditional art practices and contemporary art. The founders of Putahi are Don Ratana (senior lecturer, Waikato University), Viri Taimana (Director, The Centre des Metiers d’ Art), and Coordinator Tokainaiua Jean-Daniel Devatine.

Putahi 2017 was hosted at The Centre des Métiers ď Art training center in Papeete , Tahiti. The organizer of Putahi 2107, Viri Taimana, and Coordinator Tokainaiua Jean-Daniel Devatine are dedicated to the visual arts, cultural, sociological and educational process throughout the pacific. Viri Taimana said “The meeting of aspiring artists is essential for the sharing of experience and expertise.”

Don Ratana said “The vision behind the development of ‘Putahi’ was to reconnect [whakawhanaungatanga] in a pedalogical and sociological cultural artistic approach with Polynesian teachers, artists, developing artists and art students during workshops, presentations and living with the tangata whenua of Tahiti-nui for three weeks. Extending our historical relationships with Nga Tangata o Te Moananui a Kiwa/Kiva.”

The two-week 2017 art exchange started on Thursday 16th and finished Friday 30th June 2017.  Artists exchange techniques and traditional practices and worked toward a final exhibition. 7 artists from Hawaii, 1 from New Caledonia, 4 from Tonga, 3 from the Cook Islands, 11 from New Zealand and 12 from Tahiti participated. During the two weeks artists submitted creative works that were presented in three exhibitions. The opening exhibition was housed at Winkle Gallery, Papeete, Tahiti. The second was at the Museum of Tahiti and her Islands, Puna’auia, Tahiti. The final exhibition at the end of the two weeks was presented by The Centre des Metiers d’ Art Training Centre in Papeete.

Putahi Ono 2018 is themed to our rich voyaging history on Te Moananui O Kiva. We as a collective will produce miniature scale voyaging Vaka from each represented nation attending Putahi Ono. Each Vaka will include aspects of all mediums and will be exhibited in the closing exhibition.

Putahi Origins: June 19/July 10- 2010: The first Putahi included three students from the University of Waikato, four Masters of Maori Visual Art students from ‘Te Putahi A Toi’ Massey with Professor Robert Jahnke, two students from the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus with Associate Professor Maile Andrade, artist Chaz Doherty and pproximately twenty students from the Centre des Metiers d’Art.

Putahi 2, was in Aotearoa, University of Waikato, Hamilton, January 4 to 21 January 2011.

June 2012, Putahi 3 was once again held in Tahiti [Papeete,CMA] with artists from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and Aotearoa.

January 2016, Putahi 4 was held at the University of Waikato. This gathering  included artists from Tonga, Aotearoa, New Caledonia, Hawaii and Tahiti.

June 2017, Putahi 5 was held in Papeete, Tahiti, hosted by Viri at The Centre des Metier d’Art. It aligned with the annual HEIVA celebrations held in Tahiti. Cook Islands artist Stormy Kara  presented her technical execution of recycled glass set in resin moulds detailed with her knowledge of Cook Islands motifs. Painter Shane Andrew portrayed the emotions of the 500 Cook Islands soldiers with canvas paint sketches, and Raniera Ellison’s fine carved detailed work was layered on mother of pearl shell and crafted into pendants.

The Cook Islands artists attending Putahi 2017 were presented with the opportunity to host the next gathering. We have gladly accepted the offer and will endeavour to create and maintain the best projection of our Cook Islands culture and hospitality, build relationships between pacific nations, strengthen the local art scene and influence the growth and longevity of our culture and art though our youth.


Putahi Cook Islands 2018 will showcase Cook Islands traditional practice; including weaving baskets, mats and adornments passed down through generations. Carving miniature Vaka that represents our voyaging and navigation by the stars, painting images of our vibrant, living culture, outlining our lifestyle and music and building relationships between Pacific nations through art and preserving our culture.

The Cook Islands PUTAHI team will provide a studio hub (Atiu Hostel) for all artists to create works, artists can utilise the space day and night. The Atiu Hostel studio hub has been selected for its wide-open space, secure from all elements. It will be open to all general public to view and talk with artists.

Two Exhibitions, PUTAHI ONO COOK ISLANDS 2018

The opening Putahi exhibition will be held at Bergman Gallery on Tuesday 15th May from 6pm and will be open to the public for one week. All attending artists will bring submissions for the opening exhibition.

The closing Putahi exhibition will be held at Bergman Gallery,  Friday 25th May and will be open for one month. All created works during the two-week gathering will be on show and all artwork will be for sale.

PUTAHI ONO COOK ISLANDS 2018 Country Partnership: Each country will be partnered with high schools and primary schools on Rarotonga. The partnership is created to encourage and inspire students to further their artistic abilities, pursue creative studies after high school, and instil the idea of artistic career options. We believe that the direct interaction with artists from pacific nations will be empowering for students who believe in their creative abilities.

Each country will ready a presentation including samples of their works which will be featured at their partnered school. The presentation will take place at each school during assembly or art class.The school will also be invited to the studio hub and be given the opportunity to work along side the artist. Each school will also be invited to attend both exhibitions.

PUTAHI ONO COOK ISLANDS 2018 Traditional & Contemporary Practice | Open Presentations:

Carving– Located to the right of the Atiu Hostel. Artists will demonstrate thier techniques through shared skills and work together as a team to produce a fleet of miniature Vaka, each symbolizing the journey our forefathers endured throughout the Pacific. Mother of Pearl shell carving artists will produce motifs etched by hand, utilizing traditional and modern techniques.

Weaving  @ the Studio Hub (Atiu Hostel). Weavers will utilise local fibers, rito, pandanus – creating adornments. Vaka sails and fixtures will also be created by weavers to complement the fleet created by carvers.

Printing & Textiles @ the Studio Hub. Artists will create lino tiles that embody Pacific motifs, symbols and markings, these tiles will be reproduced on paper, fabric and tapa.

Painting @ the Studio Hub. Painters will create various styles utilizing numerous mediums. The execution of high-level paintings will be produced for the closing exhibition.

Graffiti @ the Studio Hub and on location. Street artists to create large-scale work at a location negotiated with Apii Avarua School.

Photography – At  various locations throughout Rarotonga. Photographers will capture the impact of culture in a modern setting.


Opening night exhibition photographs by Turama Photography.