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Contemporary Rotuman Artists

Letila Mitchell

Letila Mitchell is founder of the Pacific Arts Alliance, Trustee and Current Secretary General. She is also the Director of the Fiji Arts Council. She is a visual and performing artists with 15 years experience performing and working in the Pacific, London, New Zealand and Australia. She has extensive networks in the trade, tourism and arts sector throughout the region. She is also the Artistic Director of Rako a multidisciplinary arts project that focuses on contemporary Rotuman productions.

After graduation with a Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from the University of the South Pacific, she has had an extensive career in the arts as a performer, director and events manager having worked with the Fu Helava Dance Troupe, Suva the International Olympic Committee and the Hibiscus Festival Committee.

Recent Projects:

  • Pacific Delegation to the Pacific Trade Expo and Celebrate Pasifika Festival, Auckland, March 2008
  • The Dreaming Festival Tour, June 2008
  • Pacific Arts Forum, 10th Pacific Festival of the Arts, American Samoa, 2008
  • Pacific Arts Online – Comprehensive online directory for Arts practitioners
  • Development of Pacific Arts Alliance international exhibition and festival circuit
  • Women of Power Project, 2008
  • Strategic Plan and Corporate structure, Fiji Arts Council
  • Masi, The Conch, Auckland 2006
  • Empowerment, Womens Crisis Centre, Suva, 2007

Recent Exhibitions/Commissions

  • Roots in Search of Water, Alliance Francais, Suva, 2007
  • Maka, The Dreaming Festival, 2007
  • Activate Aotearoa, Auckland, 2007

Selected Projects

  • The Dreaming Festival Tour – Pacific IslandsTrade and Investment Commission Australia
  • Pacific Arts Alliance Project, Aust 2007
  • Celebrate Pasifika Tour – PITIC NZ/ Pacific Arts Alliance Project, NZ 2007
  • Pacific delegation – ACP Cultural Festival, Dominican Republic, 2006
  • Label of Authenticity project – Department of Culture and Heritage, NZ/ Fiji, 2006
  • Area Coordinator – Fiji Delegation, World Outrigger Canoeing Championships, Auckland 2006
  • Manager, Genetic Pasifika Exhibition, Auckland Museum 2006
  • Branding and launching of the New Zealand Pacific Business Council, 2006
  • Project Manager, Arts Facilities Evaluation project – Department of Culture and Heritage, Fiji
  • Artistic Director, Fiji Delegation – 9th Pacific Festival of Arts
  • Project Manager, 2003 SPG Torch Relay
  • Manager, SPG Mall and Tau’s Kids Park, Suva 2003
  • Artistic Director, Pacific Delegation - Commonwealth Parade for the Queens Jubilee Celebrations, London
  • Artistic Director, Lead dancer, Millennium Dome - Pacific Day
  • Managing and Artistic Director of TiPau Ltd

The art of Letila Mitchell, from an exhibition called "Maka"

From  Australian Broadcasting Company (26 December 2023)

Artists embark on reviving 'sleeping' Pacific tradition


A team of Pacific artists have embarked on a two-year journey with a knowledge holder in Rotuma to revive what they call a 'sleeping' tradition.

The result of their journey is the passed-down knowledge of how to make Rotuman suru, or headdresses, worn by kings, priests and warriors of the past.

A king's suru they made is now being exhibited at the Australia Museum in Sydney as part of a new wing featuring Pacific culture and art.

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Contemporary Rotuman Artists