|Medium||Hand-painted on Masi (inner bark of the paper mulberry tree)|
|Size||The masi is mounted on A4 black card and measures approx. 18.5cm wide by 22cm tall (portrait)|
|Copyright||Images and text © Maria Rova|
Water-based paint applied using sponging technique similar to that used by traditional Fijian masi-kesa artists, with details drawn in pigment pen. This design was inspired by the eye-catching fairy basslets that inhabit Fiji’s coral reefs. They are amongst the most colorful of tropical fish, living in large, loose schools along drop-offs and coral outcrops.
renewable resource, masi is made by harvesting strips of bark from specially grown paper-mulberry trees. Each piece takes days to process, involving repeated pounding, soaking and stretching. These traditional skills are passed on from generation to generation, with certain clans being considered the experts in masi-making. The uneven quality of the masi reflects its handmade origin.
Maria Rova lives in Nadi, Fiji. Her artwork is inspired by the wildlife, culture, and scenery of the Pacific, especially that of the remote island of Taveuni to the north of the Fiji group, which is home to her husband’s traditional clan. Sustained by forest and reef, Taveuni villagers still follow many of the ancient cultural practices that give Fijian people their unique identity. The artist wishes to acknowledge gratefully the impact that her Fijian family has had on her work.