Inheritance: Reclaiming Native Peoples and Places is a joint project between artist Melissa Chimera and her mother, poet Adele Ne Jame. Both are inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Islands where they live and share a concern for disappearing species, especially in relation to native peoples and places. This connection to the natural world, its beauty, its violence and mystery, is clearly evident in both Chimera’s paintings of rare flora in Hawaii and in Ne Jame’s poetry.
Chimera created a series of oil paintings of white flowers, displayed in tandem with Ne Jame’s poems which evoke humanity’s connection to the seen and unseen world. Together, the paintings and poems provide a means of reflecting on the natural world and challenge the accepted notion of paradise. The artists wish to transcend the commercial and sentimental image of their homeland in order to communicate its reality in a way that they believe is more honest.
At the opening of the Biennial, Ne Jame gave a reading of her poetry in the exhibition space.