Monday, 22 March 2021
Renowned local and international Fijian visual artist Irami Buli has joined the Fiji Corrections Service to help produce the upcoming New Life Art Exhibition from April 8-12 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
The FCS has come out with a “New Life” Art Exhibition to coincide with the Annual Easter Celebrations on the Christian calendar and also to expose the exceptional works of art produced by inmates at the Tagimoucia Gallery.
Buli has travelled and exhibited in many parts of the world and is the first recipient from Fiji to exhibit at the 7th and 8th Beijing International Art Biennale at the National Art Museum in Beijing China representing Fiji at the Iconic International Art platform in 2017 and 2019.
Buli also attained international recognition for his contribution to the National Art Museum in Beijing and has been honoured for his achievements.
“I was approached by Mrs. Jane Ricketts and we had a storming discussion on what she wanted to do, talking about Art and how it has developed over the years.
The Moturiki islander always had the passion for community work and teaching.
“I always had an interest in assisting communities with anything to do with art and development and share my experience and knowledge when needed and am glad I was being considered to come and assist Mrs Ricketts and these talented inmates,’’ Buli said.
“I feel this is the right time for me and also the right moment to continue the great work that Mrs. Jane Ricketts has done over many years with the artists of Tagimoucia gallery,’’
“What I hope to bring through the Yellow Ribbon Initiative Program is very simple, to bring change in their lives and give them hope for their future and thirdly to develop the creative potential they have to restore what they have lost.
Commissioner of Corrections said the FCS is delighted to have someone with Buli’s reputation and expertise.
“We are very excited to have Irami Buli on board, it’s hard to have someone of his stature volunteering their free time for the FCS and we thank him for his willingness to come and help restore lives through art,’’ Commander Kean said.
Commander Kean also paid tribute to the work done by Mrs Ricketts in the last 12 years.
“Mrs Ricketts really laid the platform for what the Tagimoucia Art Gallery stands for today.”
Commander Kean said the success of the FCS rehabilitation programs is reflective of the
professional expertise that these volunteers offer to Corrections.
“It really is a thankless task, because they give up their time and use their own resources to help those under our care.”
Meanwhile, Buli says the most important thing is to develop an artistic relationship with the community, enhance learning and consistency.
“I am here to teach them what kind of work will sell in the outside world, and to do that we have to build art visibility within our local space, create a platform that is workable, durable, and sustainable.
“The idea is to change perspective, allow new ideals and expand knowledge on our potential to tap beyond our thinking.
“My experience in just this first month has been very rewarding. I personally sensed an entirely new realm of creativeness working with the painters.
Buli assured the public that the Exhibition from April 8, -11 will be exciting as it will reveal how artists view their life and their place in society and the core message they wish to portray.
“I am fully grateful for the opportunity to share the knowledge that I have learnt and I am learning so much from these artists – the more I reveal the creative sensitivities, the more I understand how important Art can create Change and bring Hope to others.”