Purago Marabe has just completed a Jolika Fellowship, Artist in Residency program at the de Young Museum, San Francisco. He shared the Kimball Education Gallery / Artist Studio with fellow Papua New Guinean artist, Martin Morububuna and the public.
Highlights of his visit include a Floor Talk on 16th October when Purago treated the visitors to a stunning slide show and cultural tour of his homeland along with pieces of his latest artwork.
During his stay in San Francisco Purago gave poetry readings at Stanford University, and in the Kimball Education Gallery. Purago also wrote poetry to accompany several of his new pieces of artwork. His major performance was the Closing reception on 30th October with fellow Papua New Guinea artist and scholar, Dr Michael Mel. Purago sang a contemporary Fore song and gave a poetry recital.
Purago would like to thank Ms Christina Hellmich, Curator Jolika Collection, and Marcia and John Friede for the Jolika Fellowship for the opportunity to attend the deYoung Museum as Artist in Residence and to share his creativity with the people of San Francisco.
Purago Marabe is a self-taught artist and poet from the Okapa district of the Eastern Highland Province, Papua New Guinea.
His poetry was first published in 1994 in Lost in the Jungleways, named for one of his poems. This anthology of young PNG writers is being used as curriculum material taught throughout PNG.
Currently Purago resides in his natal village of Moke, and recently assisted his community in establishing the Pindogori Cooperative Society, of which he is the inaugural Chairman. An avid tree planter, promoter of sustainable development and collector of seeds, stories and songs; Purago is recognised as a leader in his community and a role model through his willingness to explore and share the unknown with his associates.
His paintings were exhibited at the 2002 and 2003 Independence Anniversary celebrations in Port Moresby and Lae. He has sold paintings to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has sold to customers from Australia, Italy and Germany.
From 1995 to 2003, he was part of the community of artists at the Port Moresby Art Centre. Previous to that, his community involvement includes:
“My recent community involvement has included assisting my natal community to develop the Pindogori Cooperative, a collective of organic coffee growers to market their coffee and other organic goods and traditional artefacts on the world market. As an avid tree planter, promoter of sustainable development and collector of seeds, stories and songs, my current art project is reforesting my land with a jungle of trees.”