In July 2014, Ona and Arthur Filloy, with the help of Simix Simeon, the leader of the Mataso village artists group, turned their rented cottage in Port Vila, Vanuatu into a productive workshop creating a wonderful new collection of prints.
After a month of laughter and lots of hard work, they returned to Brisbane, Australia with over 100 pieces of art. These prints are a charming and colourful window into the world of these Melanesian people.
The work is by seven artists – Simix Simeon, Apia Willie, David Kolin, Herveline Lite, Patrick Tomas, Sepa Seule and Stanley Firiam, all of whom are part of Vanuatu’s post-independence generation.
Much of the work is based on the belief system of their island culture, often referencing customary indigenous sand drawing, while contemporary influences, such as advertising and popular culture are also clearly evident.
Ona and Arthur’s mission is to bring Mataso art to the world, to eventually establish a permanent workshop in Vanuatu to further develop their skills and sell their art. This would enable the artists to gain an ongoing income to benefit themselves and the Mataso community as a whole.
Prints are now being sold at Pandanus in Port Vila’s main street as well.
Some more artwork