NiaVal Ngaro, Cook Islands b.1971

NiaVal Ngaro is a Cook Islands artist of growing reputation.

A story teller and orator of note, NiaVal writes ‘’Art provides us an opportunity to learn about each other and bring together the best of who we are.’’

In 2015/16 NiaVal became intrinsically involved in the acclaimed international exhibition ‘’500 Cook Islands Soldiers’’ that has been exhibited in New Zealand and the Cook Islands. The Project has since been invited to be shown in England and France and will do so in 2017.

In her new exhibition with Bergman Gallery, opening February 2017, NiaVal Ngaro presents a new series of glass ‘Taro’ sculpture in a site specific installation.

She states ‘’ My new works and passion with glass has been motivated from a vision I so vividly remember 13 years ago “A woman working vigorously in the taro plantation, planting, cultivating, harvesting and finally seeing the fruits of her labour”.

NiaVal connects with the organic nature of the taro plantation through Glass Sculptures. This is where women cultivate, nurture and harvest the crops not only in the field, but in the home and in society.

The glass sculptures themselves are shaped for the plant that they represent, showing specific stages of growth, characterized by colour and form. The installation and accompanying soundtrack earth the artistic premise, the Taro and its female cultivators forming a symbiotic partnership that nurtures an entire culture.

Through her use of glass, the artist captures the raw form and unusual beauty of this natural Polynesian food staple, while also recognizing the Taro’s paradisaical surroundings that are saturated in colour and light. An Eden like purity radiates from the sculpture. The Taro is a food source, a cultural metaphor, a symbol of what has come before and a vessel for what has yet to come.

 

EXHIBITIONS

2017 This Woman’s Work Is A Woman’s Worth, Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga; UNESCO, International Women’s Day Exhibition, March 6-17, Paris, France.
2016 This Woman’s Work Is A Woman’s Worth, Depot Artspace Gallery, Devonport, Auckland.
2015 Lest we forget the 500 Cook Islands Soldiers, National Museum, Rarotonga.
2015 Degustation Exhibition, Depot Artspace Gallery, Auckland.
2015 Lest we forget the 500 Cook Islands Soldiers, Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland.
2013 Piringa Toto/Blood Ties, Fresh Gallery, Auckland.
2012 Black & White Exhibition, K’ Rd Gallery, Auckland.
2008 Vending Machine Art, Splore Festival.
2007 Off the wall – Friends of the Gallery, Auckland Art Museum.
2006 Ka pai Nuku Ka pai rangi, Fresh Gallery, Auckland.
2005 Native Indigenous,Te Awamutu Gallery.
2004 Tatou Tatou Exhibition, Bondi Pavillion, Sydney.
2003 The women that carried the heavy load, Pukapuka Community Centre, Auckland.
1999 – 2002 Paringa Ou, Archill Gallery; Suva Art Gallery;  Noumea Arts Centre; Cook Islands National Museum; Te Tuhi, Auckland.
1998 Wahine Toa Pumanuwa Exhibition, Archill Gallery.

PUBLICATIONS
2015 500 memories afloat, article, Cook Islands News.
2004 NA MALAGA O TE AMONGA (The women that carried the heavy load), Master and Masterpieces Paper, Pacific Arts Association Symposium.
2005 Native Women’s paper, NSW City Council, Australia.
2004 TE TALA O MAMASXL IN DANGER ISLAND. (Graphic Novel)
1998 – 2000 COOK ISLANDS STAR, Cook Islands Media LTD.

FESTIVALS

2015 WW1 500 soldiers – Orator/ Co-ordinator Pacific festival, Auckland.
2012 Native Storyteller 11th Festival of Pacific Arts – Solomon Islands.
2009 Interactive Storytelling – Waitakere Storytelling Festival.
2008 Visual Artist – SPLORE festival.
2007 Short film Pollywood Film Festival – Auckland.
2007 Indigenous workshops – Pacifica festival Auckland.
2007 Streets Arts Project Celebrate Pacifica Festival, Auckland Museum.
2007 – 2006 Interactive Storytelling – Going West Festival.
2006 Visual Artist / Pacific Wave Festiva.l
2006 Short film – Splore Festival.
2006 Interactive Storytelling – Genetic Pacifica Festival.
2005 2 X Moving Image Works Pollywood Film Festival, Pakuranga Arts Gallery, Corbans Arts Estate, Otara Arts, Moving Image Centre, Western Spring Arts.
2004 Pacific Graphic Novel – Festival of Pacific Arts, Palau.

PERFORMANCE ART / CULTURE

2015 50th Celebrations Float Parade, Rarotonga.
2015 Cook Islands Soldiers Chant/March, National Museum, Rarotonga.
2015 500 Soldiers Performance, Degustation.
2012-2013 Youth Performance – Faith Factory Salvation Army.
2012 Street Performance – West City Henderson.
2009 Peucha Keucha, Auckland.
2009 Kelston Cook Islands Girls Group, Polyfestival, Manukau, Auckland.
2007 Pacific Cultural Performance Krump Kings Battle Zone, Trust Stadium.
2007 Tommy & the Hip Hop Clowns. (International Artists)
2004 Pukapuka Cultural Group, Westfield Styles Pacifika.
1997 Dance Urban Street Battle, Fugees Concert.
1995 Take A Look In The Mirror, Production, Sydney, Australia.

WORKSHOPS

STORYTELLING – 2012 11TH Festival of the Pacific Arts , 2004 9th Festival of the Pacific Arts, 2009 Te Papa Museum Wellington, 2008 Auckland War Memorial Museum, 2004 – 2008 Southern Cross Campus Mangere, Dawson Primary Otara, Nga Iwi Primary School Mangere, Mangere Samoan Pre-School, St Pauls College Ponsonby, Tupu Library East Tamaki, Mangere Bridge Library, Pukapuka Community Library.