My ART | Writer/Collector: Lana Lopesi

Writer/Collector: Lana Lopesi

Writer/Collector: Lana Lopesi

What do you do?

I’m a writer who mostly writes about art for a heap of different publications, although I also write about Pacific people and Pacific issues more broadly with a focus on Pacific people online which was the focus for a book called False Divides I wrote in 2018.


Why do you go to galleries? 

As an art writer the challenge of putting words to something beyond language drives my work. I think it’s the ultimate form of advocacy because art can transcend all else and being able to share that experience with readers is so rewarding. I think good art can help you to see things that you might not otherwise, I enjoy the way art can challenge me and keep me thinking for days on end. I guess I visit galleries hoping that’s what I’ll encounter.


If you could own any work of art, what would it be?

John Pule’s The Pulenoa Triptych

What is the most enigmatic work of art in your collection?

I have an early painting by Christina Pataialii which was part of a trade of writing for a painting. It’s the first tiger she ever painted and is probably one of her more figurative works. The thing I’ve always loved about Pataialii’s work is how it references everything and nothing at the same time. She avoids easy confinement but the image also feel so familiar. I spend a lot of time looking at that work.


Why collect?

I don’t really think of it as collecting, I don’t think about value or investment or those kinds of things that come to mind when you hear the word ‘collect’. But I think the best way to support contemporary art is to buy it, so I do what I can when I can. The art I own is almost exclusively all Pacific art, and through it I can chart the times that my life brushed up with others and when acquaintances became friend. By creating little art moments in my home I can start to plot an art history of kinds and being surrounded by that is really special.


August 2020

Image courtesy of Lana Lopesi