Happy Islander


"As a stereotype, the Pacific is embedded in the discourse on colonisation, representation and gender. The Pacific and its traditions are seen as ‘other’, as exotic – a tourist experience to be had, a souvenir. The clichés of the happy Islander...”

Happy Islander is a response to this quote by Karen Stevenson (i). As time moves on the unease of the smile becomes heavy. The smile is used in order to assert the uncomfortable position of the exoticised other.' - Artist Statement

(i) Stevenson, K. (2008). The Frangipani Is Dead, Contemporary Pacific Art in New Zealand. Wellington, Aoteroa New Zealand: Huia publishers.

This work is discussed by the artist on CIRCUIT Cast 84