Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka
Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka is an interdisciplinary artist based in Christchurch who’s practice is deeply rooted in the traditions of Tongan art but also firmly invested in the future.
In the process, Maka has developed his own form of abstract art based on the sacred Tongan art of ngatu 'uli (black tapa cloth). With works based on memories of his life in Tonga, Maka now hopes to introduce to a broad range of communities in Christchurch the ancient art of ngatu 'uli, and thereby keep it alive. His tapa making combines modern aesthetics and personal messages with respect for old customs.
In his abstract smoke paintings, the spiritual connection with the “traditional” past is somewhat subtler and more emotional. Having lost his father to smoking and keeping the old traditions of smoking crops and food alive in incredibly satisfactory paintings. Believing abstract art in the Pacific to be one of the most expressive and pure forms of art-making, Stone’s paintings draw attention to the formalism and abstraction inherent to art from the region since the 18th century.
Stone is also not shy of experimenting with new ways of making art. The paintings the artist made specifically for the Nomadic Art gallery capture his playfulness and his seriousness. Using real-caught spiderwebs, transferring them on canvas as abstract entities or drawing figures with them. These series of paintings capture the essence of Stone, an artist, firmly aware of his root, but continuously pushing his practice and throughout his practice, one constant can be observed. Namely that he always constructs / creates one part with a clear methodology (a controlling factor). Another part of his paintings is constantly changing, mainly the technique with which something is created, and embodies the intuitive, uncontrollable to making art.