Epi Dakua Art
Frangipani is one of Fiji's native flowers. Epi wanted to create something different that is rarely made, so he painted a green Frangipani. There's a lovely story behind the flower, part of Fijian folk tales. This is the story of the Frangipani in the words of the artist:
"Back in the days when our forefathers first landed in Fiji, they came to Viti Levu and from there they dispersed to spread out and fill the land.
One of the family members planned to go up north to Vanua Levu with his wife. Right before they left, the chief (his grandfather) gave him a branch of the Frangipani tree. The chief told the couple "the first place you get to you plant this in remembrance of us."
So the couple left in their canoe, travelling by sea all the way to Vanua Levu with the branch of Frangipani given to them by the chief.
Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island has 3 provinces: Bua (in the west), Macuatu (in the north-east) and Cakaudrove (in the south-east). Bua is actually the place where the couple first inhabited - Bua is the Fijian name for Frangipani. The Bua people in Vanua Levu are said to be the first inhabitants of the island."
This painting depicts a woman relaxing and finding her 'peace of mind'.
"After a hard day of work, you just want to come home and relax and find tranquillity. Perhaps this is why people want to go and watch the sunset after a stressful day" muses the Artist behind this creation, Epi Dakua.
"In Fiji you might go and sit under a mango tree with a guitar, or put your headphones on and lose yourself in music, or relax with a glass of wine. Whatever way people have to de-stress, this painting captures a woman doing just that.
The painting itself is more abstract, with the vibrant colours of Fiji. Her head is titled upwards slightly, her eyes are closed. She is relaxed and at peace."
Fiji is known as the tourism hub - a very friendly country, with many vibrant colours. Much of Epi's work is about colours as he sees them as a big part of Fiji life.
This is one of Epi's favourite pieces. He loves going to Wailoaloa beach in Nadi, to watch the sunset. This piece came into being almost on its own "it just came out of my fingers, onto the brush and onto the canvas".
It's a beautiful Fijian sunset, how Epi wishes it would look in his village. Epi is from the eastern side of Viti Levu, from Veidrala village in the Ra province. Epi says "I wish it would look like this in my village. The village is right on the beach; i wish that one day the sun would set in the East just so that i could see the sunset in my village like it is in this painting."
The Heliconia flower is part of the ginger family and gets its name from the Greek work Helikonios. Also known as Lobster claws, wild plantains and false Bird of Paradise.
If you take a ride along Viti Levu’s eastern side along the Kings Road, from Rakiraki down that corridor, Tailevu towards Suva; that is one of the greenest places in Viti Levu. The eastern side is very lustrous and has beautiful scenery and vegetation. If you sit by the window on a journey along this corridor, you will never miss seeing this flower, it grows everywhere.
If you try to get a bouquet from a florist it will cost you handsomely, but if you take a trip down the Kings Road you can stop by anywhere and pick your own, growing wild.
Epi said "I wanted to capture one of the many beautiful flowers growing around Fiji. I love this flower because of its beautiful colours, orange to red, how the colours blend. The tonal expression you can create. Some ginger flowers are orange all throughout, many are just red. Look at the bottom part and how it changes colour towards the upper edge, it changes from darkness to light in the Heliconia.
Notice how the petals are connected, along the middle spine. One branching to the left, the other to the right, it goes right up to the very top of the flower, connected in the centre. Every bunch of flower, the shading is done, the bottom is dark to the upper edge."