The Hikulagi Sculpture Park was established in 1996 by members of the then Tahiono Arts Collective and in particular, Mark Cross (Auckland/Niue), Mikoyan Vekula (Wellington), Sale Jessop (Niue), Al Posimani (Niue) and Mario Cross (Auckland).
Due to a variety of reasons it was put into hiatus for a decade. When it was conceived it was regarded as eccentric and visionary, but time has caught up with the idea and so it is now nearly mainstream.
It is situated 2 kilometres South of the village of Liku, surrounded by primary rainforest but on a patch of land that has been rendered largely infertile by naive colonial horticultural methods.
The initial purpose of the project was to create a venue for local and international contemporary artists to experiment with their individual and collective ideas, the main focus being on the expression of environmental concerns and how this interfaces with Homeland identity issues.
The concept embraces the sentiment that an island is analogous to the Planet Earth and so is intended to foment debate on issues such as, pollution, climate change and human co-existence.
Its intension is to do this through audience participation and the predominant utilisation of the found object, that is to say, the discarded inorganic refuse of a contemporary consumer society.
The objectives include but are not restricted to:
- To seek to provide a venue for discourse on the part that art can play in the evolution of humanity while highlighting the interrelationship between Homeland cultures and the environment.
- To provide a place where the intrinsic and unique qualities of Niuean Culture and environment can be shared with the world while attracting attention to Niue through a medium/venue that is unique in the Pacific Islands.
- To provide a forum for discussion on the re-interpretation of the meaning of progress.
- To provide a venue for creative expression of not only artists but also the general public, visitors to Niue and most importantly, Niuean youth through audience participation
- To create a venue for contemporary music and multimedia projects in a tropical rainforest setting
The Sculpture space to date is being created through the voluntary labour of various individuals and businesses on Niue. Initial funding at its inception was provided by the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust as well as the then AusAid Cultural Fund. The current re-invigoration of the space has been supported by Reef Shipping and Niue Tourism has also offered support.
Team Hikulagi, 19 Sept, 2010
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