Mahiriki Tangaroa: In a Perfect World

28 October - 14 November 2020 Bergman Gallery, Rarotonga
‘Confronting times can often prompt the need to escape to an elevated, alternative reality, a world of strength, courage and heroism, one that promises a wealth of joy, happiness, fulfilling our every need and expectation. Although a self constructed, almost fictitious world, it can fundamentally serve as a guiding beacon, in the endeavour to reconcile unrelenting issues and challenges.

Opening Speakers:

Garth Henderson, Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Economic Management
Mahiriki Tangaroa, Artist

This collection of work came about unintentionally in response to the recent Covid-19 pandemic. It was in early February 2020, that the idea to stage an exhibition was decided, however, the thematic approach and visual presentation changed significantly along the way. During March and April of this year, we were confronted with a host of "unanswerable" questions, namely, "what's going to happen now"?

This exhibition of work is a visual record of thoughts, experiences and observations that occurred over a 4-5 month period. Unlike previous work, they do not express any kind of definitive statement; instead, each represent fragments of an ongoing process. My previous work featured gatherings of ancestral figures, resonating a kind of togetherness, reflective of our way of life. This new series of work features individual portraits, exemplifying singularity and conveying a sense of isolation.

The title In a Perfect World references the imagined concept of the "ideal", and the romantic notion of the "what was". Central to all the works is the importance of optimism. During uncertain times, this is something we must always retain.'