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Hopper Gallery
8 August - 27 September
Extended digital program from 28 September

Bittersweet is a survey of emerging and mid career Fijian art. It is a talanoa: a laying down of artworks and stories some sweet, and some bitter.

Both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian artists have been invited to interpret ideas around food, language and stories. The artworks are representative of new and old ideas of Fiji and the ways they have been shared and remade, to create space for both histories. The exhibition speaks to the experiences of artists living in diaspora as well as the connection to their island home: Fiji.

Curated by Western Sydney based emerging curator Shivanjani Lal

Artists: Manisha Anjali, Mohini Chandra, Quishile Charan, Yasbelle Kerkow, Shivanjani Lal, C.A Moses, Dulcie Stewart, Luisa Tora & Sangeeta Singh and Emele Ugavule

This project is supported by the Carstairs Prize, funded by a private donor and administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

NAVA logo

Banner Image: C.A Moses, Untitled, 2020 (detail). Courtesy the Artist.

Put your headphones on and listen to the artists whose works are featured in Bittersweet.

Listen to some intimate conversations between the curator, Shivanjani Lal and the artists who are featured in the exhibition. Bittersweet Conversations goes deeper into the processes and stories that inspired the artists to create thought-provoking works that speak to their connection to Fiji and their experiences of living in diaspora.

shivanjani lal_chhaapaa_photo by cara lopez


Life at the moment is complicated and uncertain. Our world as we know it has been turned upside down and our connection to others has become vital. But how do you become connected when our way of connection has been taken away? We turn to other means such as; online zoom chats, phone calls, e-mails, even…old school letters!

Casula Powerhouse is offering the opportunity to participate in a community writing project called Bittersweet Postal Society. The project aims to connect people and to create beautiful poetry, inspired by the Bittersweet exhibition.

Participants will be sent letter-prompts written by artist, Manisha Anjali over a 4-week period. Each week a new prompt will be added to our website with details about what to write where to send it. Consider it an old-school pen-pal experiment with poetry as the basis. You will also be able to attend an online meeting with the artist to discuss the ideas and concepts from your letter writing prompts.

Bittersweet Postal Society was a 4 week project starting on 28 September and was free to join.

The project  has now been crafted into a publication. Click here to view

Image: Shivanjani Lal, 'Chhaapaa.' Photography by Cara Lopez. Courtesy of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

Film Thumbnail the land has eyes

Bittersweet Online Film Screening:
Don't Forget to Go Home (2020) & The Land Has Eyes (2004)

Tuesday 6 October | 7pm
Bookings close 3pm on Tuesday 6 October

This free online film screening presents two films made by filmmakers with deep connections to Fiji. Much like the artists in the exhibition, these filmmakers interpret ideas around language and stories, and what it means to have a connection to place.

The online film screening will be introduced by Craig Donarski (Director, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre) and Shivanjani Lal (Curator, Bittersweet)

Both films will be subtitled in English. Please note the short film is unclassified but we recommend adults only.

Shivanjani Lal_Photography by Jacquie Manning_Courtesy of Parramatta Artists Studios

KAISE HAI?* | How are you?

Join us for a conversation with emerging Western Sydney curator, Shivanjani Lal and academic Dr. Asha Chand. The discussion will consider the importance of memory, objects and ideas of home, and how these experiences shape their world.

We invite you to bring an object from home that's significant, or has a valuable memory. In this program, we will explore how we imbue objects with importance and value; and how they shape our past, present and future.

Photo by Jacquie Manning, courtesy Parramatta Artists’ Studios.