Inside the Seleka Club
Last Thursday, after being directed to a barren public park by a series of text messages, I was handed a large untitled painting by Tevita Latu, the founder and spiritual leader of Tonga's Seleka Club, whose members sit up all night, almost every night, drinking kava from a toilet bowl and making provocative art.
Latu's painting was brought to Niu Sila by art mule Tui Emma Gillies, who recently visited Tonga to stock up on tapa cloth and dye and to drink kava with the Selekarians. I hope that, like its predecessors, the painting will act as a magical portal from a still-chilly Auckland to the permanent summer of Tongatapu.
A fragment of film showing Tui Emma Gillies inside the hallowed coconut trunk walls of the Seleka Club has turned up on Youtube. She and the Selekarians appear to be beautifying some rubbish bins kidnapped from the streets of Nuku'alofa.