This lunchtime talk series explores how making practices are shared, interpreted, revived and recorded. 

Artists Tunaga Funaki and Salle Tamatoa recently exhibited a series of works at Objectspace that examined Niuean making practices. These works celebrated intergenerational knowledge of weaving and carving skills that had been passed to Tamatoa by Funaki and other family elders.

Hiapo is the Niuean form of bark cloth painting and has not been practiced since the early 1900s. Cora-Allan Wickliffe has begun reviving this artform, through learning from family members, her own research and time in Niue. Her Hiapo features botanical forms and motifs from Niue, painted using natural pigments and inks harvested by Wickliffe.

For this conversation, these three practitioners will share insights into their respective ways of making and the significance and value of knowledge passed through family relationships.

Booking is free and required here. Light refreshments will be provided.


Tunaga Funaki first came to Aotearoa New Zealand to study when she was 13-years-old. After completing high school, she travelled between Aotearoa and Niue as part of her clerical job with the Niuean government. She settled in Aotearoa in 1982 and continued public service until her recent retirement. Funaki enjoys sharing her love of weaving, crochet, sewing and knitting with younger generations of the Nieuan community in Aotearoa. 

Salle Tamatoa is currently completing his Masters of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. His practice is continuously referencing the importance of understanding Niuean cultural knowledge systems through stories, art making and iconography.

Cora-Allan Wickliffe is a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niuean descent, originally from Waitakere. In recent years her practice has focused on her efforts to revive the art form of Hiapo, prior to this she completed her Masters in Visual Art and Design in Performance from AUT (2013), also receiving a AUT Postgraduate Deans award for her research. She has exhibited her work throughout Aotearoa and internationally including Australia, Niue, England and Canada. Wickliffe is the granddaughter of Vakaafi and Fotia Lafaiki who are from the villages of Liku and Alofi.

This series is supported by Disentangling the European Gaze Research Hub, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland.

Tunaga Funaki and Salle Tamatoa’s exhibition Matua moe Tama is on display at Papakura Art Gallery from 31 July to 10 September 2021.

Tunaga Funaki, Lapalili fakamanaia, 2016. Photo by David St George.