Online Sessions

Promoting further engagement with barkcloth

Our Barkcloth Basics: Interpreting and Understanding Pacific Barkcloth workshops set out to explore some of the key themes of our research, including:

  • Barkcloth significance, us and history
  • Barkcloth materials, manufacture and decoration
  • Barkcloth storage and conservation
  • Understanding and working with your own barkcloth collections.

Moving to online resources

Originally planned as a series of events to be hosted at museum venues throughout April 2020, we have now adapted the workshop content and presentation due to the continued complications caused by Covid-19. We have moved our activities online by creating virtual resources and interactive sessions that closely replicate our original plans, while at the same time allowing us to include more creativity and to reach an even wider audience than anticipated. We are delighted that our amazing tapa makers and artists Reggie Meredith and Su‘a Tupuola Uilisone Fitiao are also contributing to and taking part in this new online content.

Colour photograph showing a barkcloth maker in the process of removing excess water from the u‘a (paper mulberry bast) with a shell (copyright Reggie Meredith Fitiao)
Removing excess water from the u‘a (paper mulberry bast) with a shell (© Reggie Meredith Fitiao)

Interactive sessions to talk tapa

We also hosted a select number of live online sessions in early September 2020 to interact with museum staff, the general public, Pacific communities and more to talk about tapa in museum collections as well as people’s own engagement with Pacific tapa.

To encourage discussion and engagement, we asked for museum staff to share a photo or two of tapa in their collections that they may have questions about – or simply think are beautiful! – and other participants were encouraged to share photos of tapa that they have or that demonstrate what tapa means to them. We gathered these photos ahead of time so that they could be shared on screen with everybody in the session.

Dates and Registration

Our sessions are on offer at multiple times to reflect our hope of bringing as many people, from around the world, together in order to create and facilitate engaging and meaningful discussions. All times below are listed in British Summer Time (UTC+1).

  • Friday, 4th September at 9 pm
  • Saturday, 5th September at 10 am
  • Monday, 7th September at 10 am
  • Monday, 7th September at 9 pm
  • Tuesday, 8th September at 9:30 am

These sessions are free, but please note that you must register to attend.

Resources for those attending an interactive session

We have created a Pacific Barkcloth 101 – Learning About Polynesian Tapa (36MB) guide to help during the sessions and to keep for future reference. If you are attending, we recommend that you download this guide beforehand.

Social media fans are encouraged to use the hashtags #barkclothbasics, #tapaintimeandplace, #alivingtradition for these sessions.