One of the greatest things about working at the airport is the daily drive that I take from home to work. This may be a headache in Auckland,Tokyo,London, Phuket, Suva (I've driven in some of these places during traffic jams!) but here on my island, it's a privilege. The 40 minute drive distributes to my imagination immensely! Apart from the odd hitchhiker, stray dog, thinking cows that disturb my thoughts, the whole drive is pretty relaxing. Other days it's a healing experience from the bustle of work.
|My green views!|
There were times when I moved back home after being away, like most people I began to dream of the big cities and wishing I was there instead. However, after traveling to other places like New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Japan,Thailand,Indonesia,America (USA),France,Belgium, England (UK) etc, staying in Samoa has become a new and a much more pleasant experience. These days, I see beauty on my tiny island. Sure, the sight of the big city lights are alluring and the fine dining is something to live for but there is something in us islanders that beckons us back to the rich soils of home. The smell of fresh cut grass and hot bread is not the same anywhere. Perhaps it is the navigator-ocean- spirit in us! I don't know any Samoan that does not like green or blue!
Anyway, on these long drives I appreciate the greenery, the straight line of neatly kept hedges and the white stones decorating village gardens. Samoans are proud people, they will not let their grass grow out of control or become lazy in their garden sessions, especially in the villages. I enjoy watching the children walk eagerly to school, the young men with their plantation tools carried on their shoulders for a day at the taro/banana batch, the elderly women dressed in their bright floral dresses on their way to some village call. I discover something new during my drives everyday. There is so much happening on my little island. We are not all grass skirts, ti leaves and coconut breasted people.
There is something growing, exploding among and in the Samoans these days. It has always been there, hidden and undiscovered until the last few years! There is TALENT! Apart from our daily routines, our family obligations, village and church protocols, more and more people are discovering their talents. Perhaps it's the coming age of technology, people are awake now to what's happening outside of Samoa. We are discovering that there exists a higher appreciation for our art than before. There is a real demand for it and people from other cultures including our own are willing to pay for it. Even our people who are living away from home are learning new ways to express our culture in visual, performing and other forms of art. Hello Talent!
In a small village in Samoa, I recently discovered this talent. It is definitely not me. In July I was invited to be a part of something great---a wedding! Pele and Asi attend the same church as me and I was their Maid of Honour. As it turned out, Asi, the fit groom, is an art graduate although he was working small jobs, doing other things unrelated to art. Being a newly wed, he is now the man of the house and needs to support his family. There are a few jobs for artists in Samoa. I suggested that he should consider doing something with his art. Along with the help of his beautiful wife Pele, he finally jumped into his talent suit and produced the following pieces.
This reminds me of my airport drives! Aren't they beautiful??
|Firy Red (I've changed the original colour)|
These are all hand painted, hand drawn artwork printed on different materials. The designs change each time so no orders are quite the same except when the client wants a duplicate. I took the liberty of naming these designs :). Presently, Asi and Pele have a small workshop in front of their house at Aleisa (small village in Upolu). In the last few weeks, their designs have taken a life of their own. We have a few regular customers ordering on a weekly basis/monthly basis. One time, when I went to collect an order or 20 handcrafted, handpicked pieces, someone who was driving along the road bought them all on the spot!
I'd like to think I am part of this beautiful adventure. I might be the untalented -know nothing about art poet who pops in and out sporadically to pester Asi into moving things along, I'm glad that his talent is being put to good use. The best thing is, he is earning money to support his wee family from his artwork and there is a group of overseas clients who are extremely passionate about having these made into scarves/bags/uniforms.
Pele project as I call it is well on the way. They are planning to
- acquire a business license (they might done this already)
- have a facebook page once they have a good camera
- have an email
- keep doing what they loving doing---creating more artwork
There is so much talent out there, we just need to nurture it so the artists can reap the benefits of being blessed with such gifts. They can personally take control of their own success. I am a big believer in being your own boss. Those who are their own boss work according to their passion, their creativity, they also tend to work harder and longer than those who work to the beat of someone else's whip! They find new ways to motivate themselves. So, if you feel uninspired, take a long drive among our greens, a thought might attack you lovingly and turn it into a masterpiece.
'The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own'~Benjamin Disraeli
See something you like? Pele project will help you out. Stay tuned!!
Note:All artwork displayed on this blog are copyrighted! Pele Project © 2013