As Part of the WHAU FESTIVAL / Curated with Ioana Gordon-Smith

When Great Grandpa Pete passed away, I inherited his collection of Samoan stamps. He was an avid stamp collector who like many collectors came to fetishise these objects. This collection is in many ways an heirloom of personal histories, for myself, my family and the people who once used the stamps. Bigger than that, it is way of tracking the colonial history of this island homeland. This retracing of Grandpa Pete’s stamps is one way to make sense of the cultural history of Samoa. These nearly obsolete objects at one time represented the perceived ideals of the country as a whole.

Lana Lopesi is a visual artist and writer of Samoan and Canadian decent, interested in contextualising personal stories within wider Pacific histories. She graduated from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Art in 2013 with a Bachelor in Fine Art honours. 

This poster series was installed in shop front windows along the Avondale main shopping centre. Thank you to Janet Lilo for the images.