Community Service: Family Portraits is an ongoing photographic portrait series by South Auckland-based artist and photographer, Geoffery Matautia, developed during a three-month research project for Papatūnga, Te Tuhi's development programme for arts practitioners, at O Wairoa Marae in Howick from July – September 2023.
“What does service look like as a Pacific artist within your community?” was the question that centred Geoff’s research. Upon rediscovering his own family portraits, he was reminded of the importance of capturing these moments, and the value Pacific people place on the documentation of their loved ones. To create a new series of work, Geoff utilised social media to reach out to his community, offering free family photographs taken outside of their homes. This has resulted in a series of seven portraits of families who responded to his social media call.
Titled using the last name of the family in each portrait (Jackson, Leo, Marsters, Matiseni-Latu, Puiri-Tuia, Siolo, Wilson), each large-scale photograph candidly documents a portrait style sitting. Working with families across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, these photographs celebrate the unique and relatable moments shared between members of the family in front of the family home. Exploring the concept of service as a pacific artist and creative, Geoff’s work embodies an act of service to his community.
From 24 February to 28 April, three of the works from the series, Puiri-Tuia, 2023, Siolo, 2023 and Jackson, 2023, will feature, in large-scale, on Te Tuhi's billboards in Pakuranga and at Parnell Train Station.
About Geoffery Matautia
Born in Samoa and now living in South Auckland, Geoffery Matautia is a photographer and creative, a member of the art collective Raroboys and founder of Period7. Geoff has worked with and created content for the likes of Re:News, JD Sports, AUT and was the stills photographer for TV show Still here (winner of Voyager Media Best video documentary series 2023). His work has been published in Sunday, New Zealand Geographic, Metro, Viva and Ensemble.
Geoff’s first solo exhibition in Aotearoa was a presentation of Community Service: Family Portraits at Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, in October 2023. Alongside the still photographic portraits the exhibition included a short video work, Responses,2023, which itself is a portrait of Geoff’s interactions with the seven families. Responses, 2023, was also featured in a group exhibition at Hoea! Gallery and Project Space, Te Tairāwhiti Gisborne, in November 2023.