Fipe Preuss is an artist who uses creativity as a driving force throughout her arts practice, her business and her community building and facilitating. She’s an inspiring (and very busy) woman making waves in Melbourne’s arts community and beyond. We’re proud to be collaborating with Fipe and Nuholani in an upcoming community fundraiser Hula / Ori Fitness Workshop at The Art Room in Footscray, SAT 28th April, 2-3pm, $10pp (details here). Grab a cuppa and read on to learn more about how Fipe found dance through a process of healing; her creative practice; and the upcoming workshop.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Fipe Preuss. Image provided. Photo credit: Rachel Main (Shuttermain). Women of the World Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre.
Fipe Preuss. Image provided. Photo credit: Rachel Main (Shuttermain). Women of the World Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre.

I’m a proud afakasi Samoan/German (NZ) Creative and I use my creativeness in all aspects of my life. Not just my arts practice. To be able to bring creativity and business management together has allowed me to see a wider range of opportunities and understand where support was needed.

I’m an Artist, Entrepreneur, Storyteller through movement, Creative Producer, Community Activist, Community Cultural Development Practitioner, Scuba Diving Instructor, Accountant, Business mentor and Chocolate maker.

How did you start your creative practice and why?

Realizing I could use our dance as a platform to create social change was only something I really started to understand over the last ten years. After the sudden and brutal death of one of my close friends here in Melbourne I turned to dance to help myself heal and unpack the grief that I felt. It was only when I danced that I truly felt I could disconnect with the turmoil and sadness that had settled within myself and I could tell another story. A story of hope.

Fipe Preuss. Image provided. Photo credit: Benjamin Warlngundu Ellis Bayliss.
Fipe Preuss. Image provided. Photo credit: Benjamin Warlngundu Ellis Bayliss.

Why did you decide to set up Vaiusu creative space and how do you engage community there? 

Vaiusu the creative space was developed in Sunshine but we have now moved to Braybook. We created Vaiusu as we wanted to support emerging and established craft artist and entrepreneurs showcase their work. We started as a pop up shop for local creators and while activating festivals for pasifika and indigenous Australian communities. Also producing shows such as My Island Dream, KOKO KALApU, Merry KOKOnuts and exhibitions such as Stir it Up’s: The Last Supper.

Tell us more about Nuholani and the upcoming hula workshop raising funds for kids in the Solomon Islands.

Nuholani Workshop. Image provided.

I have been working with Nuholani for about 4-5 years now as their co-director I get to hang out and create awesome work with my best friend and sister Noelani Le Nevez. (Co-founder and Director) We are a group of professional Polynesian dancers that have over the last few years created the Nuholani Polynesian Dance School to pass down our cultural knowledge and also find platforms for our students to present their dances.

The workshop o nthe 28th April is a 1hour Island Style Fitness Class. Learning the basic hip motions of Ori and Hula and combining it with hand actions and a hige impact fitness session. The focus of these sessions is to have fun, sweat and MOVE YOUR BODY! All ages are welcome to join in!

Nuholani hula workshop
Hula / Ori Fitness Workshop with Fipe Preuss. Image provided.

The workshop will raise funds for the Mammy Galo Futsal Cup in the Solomon Islands where Colour Box Studio director Amie Batalibasi’s family lives. Over 100 kids participate in this event every year, run by and for community.

CLICK HERE to go the Pacific Community Partnerships fundraiser details and check out our Facebook event here. The Art Room, 125 Hyde St, Footscray, SAT 28th April, 2-3pm, $10pp, ALL WELCOME!

A HUGE thanks to Fipe for volunteering her time and for initiating this fundraiser and thanks to The Art Room for hosting us in their fantastic Footscray creative space.

Annual Mammy Galo Futsal Cup, Solomon Islands. Image Courtesy of Pacific Community Partnerships.