Friday, 22 February 2008 12:18 PM

Poor Support for Striving Local Artists

While Solomon Islands is rich with talented artists, the support to encourage the industry is very poor.

Speaking to four talented artists from different provinces in the Solomons, they said that people who are talented in the field of painting arts and designing cultural art find less priority given to them.

They said that the government should make available scholarships for artists to go and broaden their skills and creativity.

The artists also stressed on the importance for government to recognise the need to utilise people in their field.

"We need to be given the support and opportunity to meet with other talents abroad so we can learn from them," they said.

Solomon Islands with its cultural diversity have a lot to offer abroad if given the national support.

"We want to expose ourselves to other artists in other countries who are more experienced with qualifications, that way we can get more ideas from them," one of the artists, Riaz Haikiu told Solomon Times.

He said that to be internationally exposed would not only be an individual benefit but the culture of the Solomons would be on market overseas.

"It is very obvious that tourists are often attracted to cultural paintings, and this needs to be marketed overseas," Mr. Haikiu said.

Asked on how they manage to get to draw a piece of art, the artists said it is about planning first, use of imagination and creativity combined.

"Like writers, we just paint according to our feelings or mood and it's in us so it all comes naturally once we set to work," Solomon Times was informed.

The artists also stressed on the need for the government to build a gallery purposely for them to have a place to work and display their arts.

Solomon Times was informed that right now, the artists do not have a place to work and put up their displays for visiting tourists and local clients.

"This is how we earn income for living, through our paintings and we would really like the government to see to our need for a gallery, so that people know where to find us for orders," they said.