MUSCLE MEMORY – A solo exhibition by Genevieve Pini

In the last solo exhibition of this year’s ‘Season of Solos’, Ōtara-based artist Genevieve Pini presents a body of new work that has been on a slow-boil for two decades.

Muscle Memory is the outcome of Vunilagi Vou’s BoostedxMoana crowdfunding effort from late 2022. The project saw two South Auckland artists – Niu Lemalu and Genevieve Pini – develop solo exhibition exhibitions throughout 2023, and show for the first time at the Aotearoa Art Fair.

Genevieve Pini’s visual arts practice draws on training in photography, jewellery, print and textiles. Whilst studying at Manukau School of Visual Arts in Ōtara, Pini received her malu (customary Sāmoan female tattoo), an experience and visual vocabulary that has had an enduring impact on her life and work. Blood, bloodlines and genealogical connection have carried through much of her making, often employing the colour red and in some works, the actual material used to wipe blood and ink from her tattoos.

Interested in meditative processes, adornment and making as a mode of cultural transmission, Pini has exhibited in group exhibitions since 2004, often reflecting on the idea of protection, strength and the everyday ways that Sāmoa is present in people, ritual, time and space.

Muscle Memory is Pini’s first solo exhibition, a significant and daunting project. The process of development has involved lengthy talanoa about what experiences in our lives form memory, and how those memories are held in our bodies, actions and behaviours. The title also speaks to Pini’s active dedication to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a wellbeing practice that conditions her body and mind.

Vunilagi Vou is proud to present Muscle Memory to close out the 2023 programme.