Raymond Sagapolutele – Aitu.
Raymond Sagapolutele, Aitu. Giclee matte print laminated and mounted on dibond aluminium, 594x841mm, 2020. Ed /3 + 2 ap.
‘The Uliuli (black) skull holds space as a representation of the aitu, or spirit, as understood by the artist through the teachings of his mother and grandparents. The artists grandfather was a minister in the Samoan Congregational church and his mother and her siblings were raised in the teachings of the church but even so they still told stories of the old world and the beings that inhabited it. Beings like Aitu – spirits that were seen as being a part of everything and in some cases guardians. As understood by the artist, contrary to Christian teachings, these aitu were not malignant by default, but rather they reflected what was present so to be pure of heart was always a benefit. The image created here is neither threatening nor benign but rather a reflection of the viewer.’