Chiefs & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji is one of the outputs of the Fijian Art research project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2011-2014). Additional funding was provided by the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the University of East Anglia, the University of Cambridge Crowther-Beynon Fund, and the University of Cambridge Museums, with the support of the Arts Council England.
Chiefs & Governors was curated by Anita Herle and Lucie Carreau. The exhibition and catalogue were based on research conducted by the Fijian Art research project team led by Steven Hooper, who was extremely generous with his knowledge and time.Karen Jacobs advised on the presentation of liku skirts and provided background information on missionaries in Fiji. Andy Mills contributed expertise on Fijian weapons. Doctoral student Katrina Igglesden provided invaluable insights into contemporary Fijian culture, collected contemporary Fijian material for MAA and assisted with exhibition installation and catalogue production. Fergus Clunie, former Director of the Fiji Museum, was the project consultant.
The Project was designed to develop and incorporate collaborative research with Fijian colleagues and with numerous partner and associate institutions (see Fijian Art Project). Particular thanks goes to the staff of the Fiji Museum, especially the Director Sagale Buadromo, Ratu Sela Rayawa, Mereia Luvunakoro and William Copeland. Specialist advice and assistance was provided by Opeta Alefaio and Tulia Cokanawai of the National Archives of Fiji, Paul Geraghty and Karen Stevenson at the University of the South Pacific, Julie Adams, Rebecca Conway, Jeremy Coote, John Denham, Jill Hasell, Chantal Knowles, Stéphanie Leclerc-Caffarel, Carol Mayer, Jude Philp, Rosanna Raymond and Simon Schaffer.
Preparations for the exhibition and opening greatly benefitted from the support of the Fiji Government through the Fiji High Commission in London. His Excellency Mr Solo Mara, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji, First Secretary Senitieli Wainiu and staff gave advice and provided links with Fijian community members in the UK. We are especially grateful to Sera Tavainavesi, Sefanaia Baleisolomone, Manueli Tulo and Malakai Qoro for transforming the gallery with lalawa, the art of binding and wrapping with coir cord (magimagi).
Numerous staff at MAA and the University of Cambridge Museums assisted with the exhibition and catalogue. MAA Director Nicholas Thomas provided general advice and support. Jocelyne Dudding, photographed many of the objects for the catalogue and contributed research on MAA’s photographic collections. Matt Buckley oversaw technical and installation work, with the assistance of Marcus Miller and Bob Bourne. Rachel Hand provided curatorial support and assisted with the installation of the displays. Mark Elliott advised on technical and design aspects of the exhibition. Kirstie Williams, Sophie Oelman, Barbara Wills and Rachel Howie undertook conservation, under the supervision of Julie Dawson. Administrative support was provided by Wendy Brown and Liz Haslemere, Jon Dawson advised on IT, Tanika Mei and Verity Sanderson assisted with publicity, and Sarah Jane Harknett and Lorena Bushell supported outreach and evaluation. Temporary staff, volunteers and students also contributed to the Project including Katya Borisova, Alice Christophe, Heather Donoghue, Anna Merlini and Remke van der Velden.
Deborah Wickham designed the catalogue and the graphic panels for the exhibition. Ian Bolton and Adrian Newman assisted with technical aspects of graphics and printing. David Hoxley designed and produced the maps. Gordon Brown and Simon Hawkins assisted with the photography.
The Chiefs & Governors exhibition webpages were produced by Anita Herle and Lucie Carreau with the assistance of Remke van der Velden and Jon Dawson.