John Pule

Niue / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1962
Niuean, Pasifika

Tufuga / Kavaka

  • 2022
  • Ink and oil stick on paper
  • Purchased 2022
  • 1092 x 883mm
  • 2022/166

John Pule is an authority on hiapo (Niuean tapa / barkcloth) which he has studied closely in collections throughout the world. Pule is of Niuean descent and has incorporated much of what he has learnt of this beautiful art form into his own practice, including this recent drawing, Tufuga / Kavaka. As with many hiapo designs the intricately hand-drawn lines cross over each other repeatedly to create freely formed geometric patterns over the surface of the paper. Shapes – rectangles, squares and crosses – emerge from the surface according to the intensity of Pule’s mark marking. Pule has said of this drawing, “Tufuga means expert or skilful person. Kavaka is the land I live on. Kavaka is in the village of Liku, Niue. Kavaka is very important to me as this is where my grandfather is buried along with six members of our family. Kavaka is my Father’s land. The other drawings in this series were drawn in Kavaka and speak the same story.”

(Die Cuts and Derivations, 11 March – 2 July 2023)

Exhibition History