Patterns and motifs in the Va: a Samoan concept of a space between
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This project is an exploration of the endless negotiation of the va, the relationships that consistently define and redefine themselves in the space between two cultures. The va consists of relationships between people and things, unspoken expectations and obligations: the inherent and changeable patterns, of obligations and expectations between people and their environment. The va space can be viewed as the stage upon which all patterns and motifs carry meaning. How the patterns and motifs change meanings are subject to other elements in the va. Meaning in my work will evoke the interweaving connections of past and present through oral history, genealogy, and fagogo¹ (story telling) memory and artist sentiment. As participant, the artist reflects through the remembrance of sifting through images, person, family, events, time, and space. An emphasis will be placed on the exploration of pattern and motif as a signifier of events and sign of respect, with a focus on notions of the va. The project explores notions of visual patterns and motifs to be utilized as a vehicle to signify in that all patterns and motifs carry meaning in that they signify an event, person, time, and space. Written from a Samorians² perspective of one who lives in the space between. ¹ See Sean Mallon (2002) for an explanation on fagogo in Samoan Art and Artists O Measina a Samoa p. 163). ² The term ‘Samorians’ refers to a play on words of Samoans and an American treat called ‘samores’ containing a marshmallow that is cooked in the microwave or roasted in the fire and then placed in between two chocolate biscuits. It can also refer to an afakasi (half-caste).