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Cora-Allan Wickliffe

Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss’s Biography

Last Updated:
14/02/2024, 9:32 am
Visual Arts - Hiapo
Arts Foundation Springboard 2021
Aotearoa - Ngā Puhi, Tainui. Niue - Alofi, Liku
"I’ve always been a person who learns from spending time with tuakana and being gifted time with Shane is such a honour. Navigating between traditional and contemporary is something I always navigate in regards to Hiapo. Shane has been walking in this realm for many years, I hope to learn from his knowledge of sharing our sacred spaces in a way that we still keep them sacred. The Springboard award means I can continue to focus on Hiapo, on developing and sustaining a practice that is just starting to really take hold in my community. I am so proud to be Niuean and sharing this art form is just a slice of beauty that our people have to offer. We are innovative and resilient in keeping our traditions alive in our communities. It is hard but good work. This award helps me to continue the journey of that kaupapa."

The Springboard Award for Visual Arts, funded by the Edgar Family.

Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss is a visual artist and traditional maker. After being encouraged by her Niuean grandparents to make hiapo – the Niuean practice of barkcloth painting – she has mobilised generations of Niueans to connect with and experience a previously dormant artform. Using purist hiapo-making methods with materials such as ata bark, mangrove inks and pandanus seeds, she is placing the artform back into the community highlighting the noticeably botanical forms of Niuean Hiapo.

As an AUT graduate with a Masters in Visual Art and Design and a background as a technician and curator, Cora–Allan’s deeply considered practice has caught the attention of major galleries, museums and collectors. Despite this, her work remains firmly rooted in community, and she fluidly moves between institutional and community spaces. Her confident artistic voice translates to a strong presentation of work, and she is already gaining significant momentum in Aotearoa and abroad.

Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss will be mentored by 2008 Arts Foundation Laureate Shane Cotton ONZM

Shane Cotton’s painting practice examines Māori and Pākehā cultural histories to prompt conversations about nationhood and biculturalism, and he is recognised as one of New Zealand’s best-known contemporary painters.

Statement from selection panel: "Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss is a multidisciplinary artist of Maori and Niuean descent has an arts practice that recalls the importance Hiapo making and knowledge. She is a visual artist, curator and writer who is making insightful and unique statements through the visual language of Hiapo and one that distinctly her own."