|Medium||Hand-painted on Masi (inner bark of the paper mulberry tree)|
|Size||The masi is mounted on A4 black card and measures approx. 13cm tall by 22cm wide (landscape)|
|Original Art||Original artwork with signed Certificate of Authenticity|
|Copyright||Images and text © Maria Rova|
Tagimoucia - Flower of Fiji
Fiji’s national flower, the legendary Tagimoucia, is said to have sprouted from the tears of a tribal princess who had fled her island village rather than be forced to marry a chief she did not love. This beautiful creeper, with its festoons of bright red and white flowers, grows only on the isolated slopes of extinct volcanoes in northern Fiji. The spiral wave motifs have been drawn with coral sand brought home from one of Fiji’s palm-fringed beaches.
Fijian ‘masi’, also called barkcloth, is produced by village women on islands such as Vatulele. A 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.