The Transformation of a Talented Female Artist

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Lucy Ann Panda holding her distinctive turtle portrait at the Art Gallery in Honiara.

LUCY Ann Panda is a young woman pursuing painting and visual arts. At the same time, she is a student of the school of Industrial Arts and Drafting at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) in Honiara.

The talented female artist is gradually making a name; after recently been selected by the Solomon Islands Arts Association (SIAA) to participate in a three months Art and Cultural exchange trip to Indonesia.

Lucy will show her prowess at the Art and Cultural exchange program in Jakarta, Indonesia this month when she will showcase and exchange her artistic knowledge and skills with 1000 artists from 50 countries to learn and showcase their artistic talents.

The young inspiring artist has painted exotic artistic works onto a canvas using acrylic, oil paint and paintbrush.

Solomon Entour News recently caught up with Panda to know more about her art, education, interests and future plans as a Talented Young Female Artist in Solomon Islands.

Art Background/Interest

“I was brought up by her grandparents in the island of Vella La Vella, Western province since I was two –years-old.

“My grandparents (parents of my mother) took me from my mother after she broke up in marriage with my father. However, I developed my talent in the art of drawing while I was in grade 2 in my primary level of education.

“My source of entertainment and social engagement was through the art of colouring and drawing with my schoolbooks, which I supposed to do my school work activities and exercises,” she recalled.

Her journey in the world of arts was more attached to her grandparents rather than her biological parents.

“My grandfather wasn’t an artist but has taken an absolute pride and great value to my artistic works; after all, he has been my mentor and a strong driving force in my journey as a aspiring female artist.

“Although I have a passion and positive energy in my artistic works, I had also possessed an unsatisfying attitude with my drawings; I would tear off the paper of my finished drawing work, squeeze it and threw it away.

“I remembered when I disobeyed my grandfather, he smacked me and I cried. He later apologised and placed me on his lap; my grandfather opened his paper files and showed me all the scrap papers I used to throw away. He told me not to scribble and throw my paper drawings.

“I quoted my grandfather:” “Never throw a piece of your scribble papers away even if it doesn’t look good to your eyes and mind, because one day you will try to look back and learn from that art piece you wanted to throw away,” she quoted.

“From that incident, I learn to appreciate my grandfather’s advice. I believe he has seen the gift and talent I possessed and how he really wanted me to be an artist,” she told Solomon Entour.

Education/Work

Lucy is currently undergoing certificate training at the Industrial Arts and Drafting at the National University of Solomon Islands (SINU) and the youngest female artist and junior member of the Solomon Islands Arts Association in Honiara.

“I was very shy and nervous when I had the opportunity to be accepted as a member of the SIAA; I was so shy that I couldn’t even lift my paint brush to a piece of canvas during my first day with other senior members of the Association.

“I found it difficult to compare my artworks with the other male artists’.

“However, the situation gradually changed for me, after I spent most of my time with other fellow artists of the Association, I started to realise the reason why I shouldn’t be ashamed and not to compare my artworks with other artists.

“I’m very thankful that I met few senior male artists who motivated and encouraged me by telling me not to compare my artworks with other local artists because every artists have a different nature, unique style and mindset of portraying their artistic works because art is not for competition.

Meanwhile, Lucy has met many tourists visiting the Honiara Art Gallery Centre and have some of her artworks been sold out overseas tourists and even few locals in the country.

“I normally find it very interesting to hear from visiting tourist about our how different and unique is Solomon Islands artworks when compared with other Pacific Island countries,” she said.

Advise/Recommendation

Meanwhile, she encouraged other local young and aspiring artist to reveal their talents with fear or hesitation.

“I strongly call on the majority of gifted, young talented and emerging artists in the country to come forward and be a member of the Solomon Islands Art Association in order to promote your art and talent.

“Be sure to attend the association’s exhibitions if you can, whether you’re in them or not. For me personally, I found that attending such activities helped artists to observe and understand importance of artwork exhibitions.

Associations provide incredible networking opportunities. Relationships are so important in the art world, not only with other artists but also with potential collectors and buyers. Therefore go to the exhibitions because it’s a great way to connect with people,” the young female artist added.

She said an obvious challenge experienced and observed over the years is the lack of proper studio to accommodate artists and their creative works.

“Am calling on important stakeholders such as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to consider the importance of the problem.

“It is best that the ministry can give us the assistance in order to support SIAA in constructing a proper studio for artists to do their artworks rather than doing their work at their respective homes or in the open environment where their artworks are exposed to the sun’s heat and rain,” she called on the Ministry of Tourism.

International Training and Exposure

Lucy Anne Panda and young male artist Jackson Diosi have recently departed the country to participate in a three months Art and Cultural exchange trip to Indonesia.

The trip is described as timely for both artists as Solomon Islands prepares to host the Melanesian Arts Festival on July in Honiara. The duos are expected to be back in the country in June of this year.

She said it is a great opportunity for her to expose her talents with other young artists from other countries.

“As an artist, I believe that my participation in this programme will build my capacity to improve my skills particularly on visual art. In Solomon Islands there are lots young talented artists and am proud to be one of them.

“From my participation I hope to return and help others to improve the skills of art,” she added.

The visual arts are art forms that create works that are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, film making and architecture.

The trip is described as timely for both artists as Solomon Islands prepares to host the Melanesian Arts Festival on July in Honiara. The duos are expected to be back in the country in June of this year.