01 January 1970 - 25 March 2006
In Samoan culture you are not just one person, you belong to the Aiga (family), the group, the community. Leanne Clayton’s bears symbolize families that play together, work together and stay together regardless of the impact of outside influences.
Clayton’s bears interweave a sense of duality derived from combining Samoan and European cultures, which is also reflected in the colonized patterns that they wear. Each screen-printed design containing its own story of repetition and process and the bringing together of old and new ideas from both cultures.
The calico covering becomes significant for two reasons, on one hand it refers to the colonization of Samoa in the form of the sacking used for introduced foods including sugar, flour and rice which have now become staples of the Samoan diet. On the other hand it illustrates the inventive and self reliant Samoan nature through an ability to adapt and reuse materials, tools and skills both indigenous and introduced.