Fijian in Brisbane (2011)
Fijian tapa, manhole, Hipstamatic iPhone app.
Drawing from her i see oceania (http://iseeoceania.tumblr.com/) photo blog, where she documents Pacific motifs in her urban environment, Fijian in Brisbane is Dulcie’s connection to Fiji and being Fijian in Australia.
Dulcie sees patterns of the Pacific in her everyday life and urban landscape. Using Fijian tapa, she outlines the geometric lines on a manhole which has Brisbane written on it. When repeated, the image shows a repetition of geometric shapes and lines which pays homage to Fijian tapa motifs and patterns on a woven pandanas mat.
Growing up in Fiji, Dulcie was either Part-European, kailoma, half-caste, Part-Chinese, a General voter, an Other. It was only after moving to Brisbane in 2005 that she was identified as being Fijian.
 Note: General voter – the voting system in Fiji (pre-coup d’état 2006) was based on ethnicity. You voted according to race, either as an indigenous Fijian or Indo-Fijian. The ‘others’ were bunched together as General Voters. This included ethnic minorities, such as Europeans, Chinese, Banaban Islanders, as well as multiracial people.
Born in Suva, Fiji and now residing in Brisbane, Australia, Dulcie Stewart is a product of deserters, mutineers, beachcombers, settlers, migration and colonialism. She has Fijian (vasu Kadavu, Rewa and Bua), Danish, Spanish, Filipino, Irish American, Irish, English, Norwegian, and Chinese ancestry.
This mixed heritage has influenced Dulcie’s arts practice. Her works have tried to understand, embrace, accept and acknowledge her Other(ness) – her “General” status. She examines her journey as a minority, and the experiences of migration and diaspora.