FRESH MILK XIX

The Fresh Milk Art Platform is pleased to present FRESH MILK XIX, taking place on Monday, June 27, 2016 from 6-8 pm. The event will feature Fijian-Australian artist Torika Bolatagici and Barbadian artist Anisah Wood, who are in residence at Fresh Milk for the month of June.

Torika will be speaking about both her own work and that of a selection of Pacific artists in a talk titled ‘Seeing the Black Pacific’. Anisah – the winner of the 2016 ‘My Time’ Local Artist Residency – will make a presentation about her practice and residency experience so far, as well as have an open discussion with Torika about her work.

This event is free and open to the public. Directions to Fresh Milk can be found on the About Page of our website here.

FM XIX flyer final

Seeing the Black Pacific

During her residency in Barbados, Fijian-Australian artist Torika Bolatagici has been exploring the historical, cultural and biotic similarities of the island cultures of Fiji and Barbados. With shared histories of British colonization, cannibal mythology, indentured labour, tourism and a declining sugar industry, there are as many parallels between the two countries as there are differences. Torika is interested in how contemporary artists from these respective regions respond to, reflect and represent the island cultures of Melanesia and the Caribbean.

In this presentation, Torika will give an overview of the diverse practices emerging from Australian-based artists of Melanesian and Indian-Fijian heritage.

Cultural Heritage, Revival and Redress
Julia Mage’au Gray (Papua New Guinea)
Lisa Hilli (Papua New Guinea)
Dulcie Stewart (Fiji)

Performing Contemporary Oceanic Identities
Salote Tawale (Fiji)
Eric Bridgeman (Papua New Guinea)

Positioning the (Geo)political Pacific
Taloi Havini (Autonomous Region of Bougainville);
Mohini Chandra (Fiji)
Torika Bolatagici (Fiji)

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About the featured speakers:

Torika-Bolatagici-Profile

Torika Bolatagici

Torika Bolatagici was born in Tasmania and spent the early years of her life living between Hobart, Sydney and her father’s village – Suvavou, Fiji.

Torika works across a range of media, including photography, video and mixed media site-specific installation.  Her interdisciplinary practice investigates the relationship between visual culture, human ecology, postcolonial counter narrative and visual historiography of the Black Pacific. She is interested in exploring the tensions and intersections between gender, embodied knowledge, commodification, migration and globalization.

Torika’s work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Yogyakarta and throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand and Australia. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences and symposia about the representation of mixed-race identity; Pacific arts practice in Australia and Fiji; representations of teachers and teaching in cinema; and gender and militarism in the Pacific.

In her role as Symposium coordinator for the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival in 2013 and 2014, Torika curated multiple panels to extend the discourse around contemporary Pacific arts practice in Australia and invited speakers to reflect on themes such as art and activism, museums, collecting and curating, cultural appropriation and contemporary practice. She also produced the symposium publication Mana Motu.

As well as 11 years experience teaching at tertiary level, Torika also has experience facilitating youth arts workshops for the local Pacific community, most recently the Pacific Photobook Project in Melbourne and Sydney.

Torika also presents the Community Reading Room – a pop-up destination for research, community discussion and engagement around international visual arts and culture, with a particular focus on contemporary art and theory from Oceania, Africa and the Americas. The Community Reading Room has appeared at Colour Box Studio (2013) and the Footscray Community Arts Centre (2014).

Torika is a photography lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne where she teaches contemporary theory and practice. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the School of Art and Design, University of New South Wales.

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Anisah Wood

Anisah Wood is a visual artist based in Barbados. She is in the process of completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Barbados Community College with a major in Studio Art. Her practice involves video art, digital photography, and installation. She has had the privilege of exhibiting the results of her practice at the Punch Creative Arena, The National Arts Council Barbados and at various national arts competitions.

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AusCo

Torika Bolatagici’s project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Anisah Wood’s Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Anisah Wood writes about the second week of her Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Residency. The community outreach component of her residency, the Quid Pro Quo skills exchange programme, continues to be a highlight of her experience, as well as interacting and sharing knowledge with fellow resident Torika Bolatagici and reconsidering perceptions of the Caribbean space. Read more below.

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Quid Pro Quo was indeed one of the highlights of the week. This particular session was hosted by Sheena Weekes, who enlightened us on the process of a medical examination.  As we in the audience keenly listened and participated in the session, we also witnessed Sheena’s visible eagerness to extend her knowledge of the medical field to us. It was that enthusiasm shown by both parties coupled with the feeling of satisfaction having learned something new and practical, that convinced me that Quid Pro Quo was indeed a great idea that will benefit all involved.

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I also had my first Hasselblad experience thanks to Torika Bolatagici. That was a heavy piece of equipment, but the experience of peering into the view finder at a flipped frame dwarfs the digital live view any day. However, I eventually returned to the digital world as my means of production. I’ve started editing another video to add to my body of work. As I engaged in this process, I found myself frequently contemplating on how my work can better address the peculiarities of the Caribbean space, and the various relationships as well as tensions that exist within it. What really is the Caribbean space? How is it on one hand interconnected and on the other hand fragmented? Inviting yet hostile? And how can my observations of these enquiries be represented? … I am still turning these thoughts over in my head and with each turn I unearth a new possibility.

Anisah Wood’s Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

Recipient of the ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2016, Anisah Wood, shares her first blog post about her time on the Fresh Milk platform. Using this residency as an introduction to the wider art world after completing her BFA at Barbados Community College earlier this year, Anisah has gotten off to a positive start, using the Colleen Lewis Reading Room for research, connecting with fellow resident, Pacific artist Torika Bolatagici, and leading the first session of her Quid Pro Quo skills exchange programme. Read more below:

As a recent graduate, entering the art arena can seem quite daunting. While some prefer to plunge right in, my preference was to wet my feet first and make gradual strides into deep end of this art world. And they literally got wet on the first day of my My Time Local Residency at Fresh Milk by the torrential rain that drenched the island. Showers of blessing they call it, ringing in the island’s rainy season and my first residency.

During the days that followed I enjoyed making use of the Colleen Lewis Reading Room in my search for inspiration. Another joy was meeting Torika Bolatagici and her wonderful family. As she relayed to me the ins and outs of her home country and the Pacific Islands I was intrigued by the striking similarities between that region and the Caribbean. Another highlight of the week was the first session of the Quid Pro Quo skills exchange. For that session, I shared my knowledge of the game warri and photography. I must admit that I was a bit anxious about taking on the role of host for this session, and about providing a fair exchange of information. However, based on the feedback, the session went well *phew* and I was glad to make two new acquaintances from very diverse backgrounds. I eagerly look forward to informative exchanges over the upcoming weeks.

Now that I have settled in I am hoping for an increase in momentum and intensify my work production. I am intrigued to see how a change in location will inform my work. These next few weeks will be exciting as I make my way to the deep end of the art arena.

Quid Pro Quo: Skills Exchange Programme at Fresh Milk

The winner of this year’s Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Residency, Anisah Wood, will be in residence with us between June 6 and July 1, 2016. As part of her community outreach during her residency, Anisah will be offering the programme Quid Pro Quo – a series of skill-exchanges at the Fresh Milk studio.

Modeled after the Trade School concept, founded in part by New York based artist Caroline Woolard whose practice “explores intersections between art and the solidarity economy,” these sessions will become a non-traditional space of learning and sharing, emphasizing the value of people’s passions and skills.

Quid Pro Quo will be held at Fresh Milk over a period of four weeks, with the first session being held on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 3:00pm.

Skills Exchange Flyer

The programme will be structured as follows:

  • Each participant must be willing to share either one’s passion, skills or knowledge in exchange for the skills or knowledge of the other participants.
  • Each participant can offer an option of 2 to 3 topics or skills. For example, Anisah will offer: ‘Digital photography 101’, ‘The art of collage’ and ‘How to play warri and potta (traditional board games)’. Note that what is offered does not have to be art oriented. The idea is simply to share knowledge with the expectation of receiving knowledge in exchange.
  • The result is at most a 4 for 1 exchange.
  • The setting in which the information is dispensed will be informal and the manner in which each participant relays the information is completely up to the individual. It can be a discussion, hands on experience, a series of exercises, a presentation etc.
  • Each participant will select from the options offered what they would like to know from the other participants. The option that receives the most votes will be the one discussed.
  • Finally, each participant will be assigned a day in which they will give their presentation, with the option of Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays with flexible hours between 3:00-6:00 pm.
  • There will be a limited number of participants approximately 4-5 in order to allow the exchange to be completed within the duration of the residency.

How to register:

To register, email freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Quid Pro Quo’ and provide your name, contact information and the knowledge to be bartered in exchange for one of the skill-sets Anisah will be offering by June 7, 2016.

From the response, the participants will be selected and informed of their acceptance by June 9, 2016, in time for the initial session on June 10 at 3:00 pm.

During this meeting, each of the participants will be assigned a week from which they will determine what day and time they will be hosting their session. The participants will then vote on the focus of each session based on the options provided.

Announcing the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Resident Artist 2016 – Anisah Wood

Anisah Flyer

Fresh Milk is very pleased to announce Barbadian artist Anisah Wood as the winner of the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Residency prize for 2016. Congratulations Anisah!

Anisah’s one-month residency runs from Monday June 6 – Friday July 1, 2016.  Her work deals predominantly with the Caribbean landscape and the process of colonialism, particularly the desire to lay claim to and control space. During her residency, she will continue her investigations into the perceptions of her immediate environment and the influence of territoriality on how it is negotiated. She will use this engagement with a fresh environment to stimulate new conceptual ideas.

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About Anisah Wood:

Anisah Wood is a visual artist based in Barbados. She is in the process of completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Barbados Community College with a major in Studio Art. Her practice involves video art, digital photography, and installation. She has had the privilege of exhibiting the results of her practice at the Punch Creative Arena, The National Arts Council Barbados and at various national arts competitions.

Artist Statement:

My current body of work maps the transformative effects of territoriality on a physical landscape and the society that engages with such a space. These explorations stem from my immediate environment, the Caribbean region. This region has consistently been labelled a paradise, a description that can be considered an impetus for expressions of territoriality. Therefore, through a multidisciplinary approach, this body of work examines the resultant complex relationships between space and society, and between various societal groups in connection to that space. In addition, while seeking to understand the desire to control a delineated space, the work also questions the authority to lay claim to an area. The work can therefore be considered an alternative vision of the space I occupy.