Step Folem Step
Marcel Melto is an author, musician, storyteller, producer, curator and visual artist, whose creative work has been widely recognised in Vanuatu and internationally. Born in Noumea he is from the island of Vao in Vanuatu.
For Step Folem Step Marcel created an installation called Karen i Danis (The Dancing Garden), including a series of paintings on pandanus mats, a sculpture of stone and coral, accompanied by music composed and performed on a wooden flute.
He wrote of the work, “As a child, I always remembered the freshness of the land, the green leaves, the wind, the hill we used to climb with my mum and dad to get to the gardens. I think of the rivers we would cross, the rows of bananas that had to be cleaned, the yam houses (that I always imagined half of which were in the ground with only the roof tops coming out in the open), and the prayers that parents and us children would offer to ask for resilience in today’s life. These memories dance inside my head. Slowly I grew up and took part in kastom, I saw the different garden crops go as gifts to another family or go as part of my family to a ceremony or a Nasara. Though there is no tamtam, in my understanding it is the men, whether they are alive or dead, that make up the Nasara. I danced in the Nasara, I felt them, I danced outside the Nasara and yet I felt the things that we see and the things that we hide, and that only men who dance can see…Today I believe strongly that the land and how I story with it will build up my child to be strong, and at the same time build me to be strong.”