Marovo Carvers Encounter Visibility and Lighting Challenges at Umi Wan Fest
By Lynton A. Filia
More than ten skilled artisans from the Marovo Lagoon in the Western Province have joined in Honiara for the Umi Wan Festival, an integral element of the 17th Pacific Games, to exhibit their remarkable carvings at the National Arts Gallery grounds.
Having journeyed to Honiara over the weekend, these artisans invested approximately $940 in round-trip shipping to partake in this prestigious event. Despite their commitment and artistry, they have faced significant obstacles in selling their valued carvings.
Their primary obstacle revolves around visibility. Positioned in a location considered less noticeable, these artisans have struggled to attract potential buyers to their stall.
In an interview with an anonymous carver, the absence of sufficient lighting emerged as a critical issue. Without adequate illumination during peak hours from 7 pm to 9 pm, they have been compelled to close operations and carefully store their crafted pieces.
This disparity contrasts with those operating from permanent shops, enjoying better visibility and the convenience of operating during evening hours with proper storage facilities, unlike the stallholders.
The carvers earnestly plea to the relevant authorities, expressing their genuine concerns and urging for adequate lighting to enhance visibility and enable meaningful interactions with potential customers.
Notwithstanding these challenges, the carvers have slowly marketed authentic, high-quality carvings on a cheaper prize. Marovo’s reputation is a home to some of the finest artisans and crafts in the Solomon Islands.
Their presence at the Umi Wan Fest exemplifies Marovo’s artistic richness and highlights the necessity for infrastructural support and fair considerations to ensure equal opportunities for all participants, regardless of their position within the exhibition grounds.
For those seeking top-tier and genuine carvings, the Marovo carvers’ stall is located on the right side of the main entrance. All the stalls feature carvers from Marovo, traveling from the Western Province to be part of the Umi Wan Fest event and the 17th Pacific Games.
The Iumi Wan Fest Art Exhibition is being celebrated under the theme: “Celebrating The Unique Happy Isles” offering free entrance to the public.
The event began on November 20th and is set to conclude on December 3rd. –ENDS//