BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
THERE are many ways one could portray a story whether it be verbal, poetry, books, performing arts, traditional/contemporary arts.
For John Tahiawa, a self-taught artist from Are’are in the Malaita province, he uses his talent of painting with canvas, brush, and among others to tell stories. He is a member of the Artist Association of Solomon Islands (ASSI).
He has always had a passion for drawing pictures since he was little and has been developing it. With his artworks already exhibited in the art gallery, the artist keeps using his art to showcase nature realities.
According to Mr. Tahiawa, art, in general, is a divine gift from God, where if talented recipients can use it appropriately, it also creates a huge impact on society.
He stressed that art is one of the segment in the society which contributes to the growth of tourism in any country.
John Tahiawa began to realize how artistic he was when he was in primary in the 80s, during his primary school days, where he would sketch onto anything he could lay his hands on.
“That is how I acquire this skill of drawing to which I realize that it is my God-given talent and I should not stop there but continue to utilize it as it might one day contribute something to my country.
“I sometimes get discouraged on how my parents would react to my work but that doesn’t stop me either as the dream of becoming an artist in the future is a concrete motivation that lingers in my head as I set my course towards it,” he said.
Besides that, Mr. Tahiawa also got his motivation from the late Charles Manata.
Late Manata is one of the big names and a pioneer of artists in the country.
“Late Charles Manata was the backbone of my artworks.
“I remember he would always tell me to be patient and not to give up even though there are challenges that may come my way.
“He said that is the only way I can achieve what I love doing,” Mr. Tahiawa said.
In 2017, John got accepted at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) in the School of Education and Humanities to study teaching.
For him, venturing into the teaching service is one of his goals in life, as he wanted to share his knowledge and the skill of drawing and painting to the younger generation.
He said by sharing his skill and knowledge is one way of teaching the younger ones how to value the art of drawing as they too can contribute to promoting the traditional and contemporary paintings of the Solomon Islands in the future.