Mrs Amituanai

Edith Amituanai

  • 27 Mar - 14 Apr, 2006

‘In August last year Edith Sagapolu was married. Her exhibition takes her new name. The six Mrs Amituanai photographs are informed by the many roles Edith has held in relation to the wedding from official photographer to bridesmaid and photographer/bride. Photographing weddings in which she played an active part made for a challenging experience of the roles of observer and participant. Mr and Mrs Sagapolu (a portrait by the bride of her parents), is in fact the only wedding day photograph to make it into the exhibition.

What was initially intended as an exhibition more obviously about weddings became more about becoming an Amituanai. However, the new Mrs Amituanai only makes a cameo appearance. A wedding photo of Edith and her husband can be found within a heart-shaped frame on the mantelpiece in the background of Miss Amituanai (a portrait of Edith's sister-in-law, dressed for White Sunday). The only woman in the exhibition to wear a veil is Mrs Amituanai (of a generation earlier) whose wedding portrait also shares space on the mantelpiece.

The two interiors included in the exhibition are the lounges of Edith's pre-marital and marital homes. In The Sagapolu Lounge, a brightly coloured child's table and chairs stand out from the creamy beige scheme. The Amituanai Lounge shows light streaming into a room packed with floral tributes to Edith's father-in-law, who died shortly before the wedding. The only bride Edith has photographed is her friend Mita (the baby of her family but the first to marry). Wearing satin and a tiara, Mita is pictured sitting beneath a lei-ringed image of her three older siblings as children. She is framed by her parents, completely encased in white that threatens to upstage her own.

– Anna Miles

Edith Amituanai was born in Auckland in 1980.