Love of art keeps Silio going

Written By : Mela Tuilevuka. Thinking that what you have within you is not enough can be an obstacle when you want to achieve your goals and dreams. This is
25 Jul 2008 12:00

image Written By : Mela Tuilevuka.
Thinking that what you have within you is not enough can be an obstacle when you want to achieve your goals and dreams.
This is what Silio Naulu had – low self-esteem and low self confidence for his love of art.
But the 36-year old Natewa villager from Cakaudrove is grateful that he continued what he loves doing in his own little ways.
Silio, as he is commonly known, is a familiar face at the Ark of Hope Street Ministry situated along Stewart Street in Suva.
“I used to love painting at a very young age,” Silio said.
“I did not learn it, it came naturally and I began to take more interest in it after seeing my father paint while I was small,” he said.
Silio who has spent most of his life in his village, has been in Suva for almost ten years now.
He said he is glad he made the move to come to the capital city as he finally got the break he wanted recently with his love of art.
“I am glad I came to Suva and that I am here with the Ark of Hope Street Ministry because I have learnt a lot from the other boys in the ministry especially Roland Wong,” he said.
“I know it took me almost ten years to finally realize I had a real talent in art after meeting Roland, I believe that good things come to those who wait,” he added.
He said he believes fate has made him wait this long for him to develop his artistic talents.
Silio and other boys’ paintings adorn the ministry’s head office at Stewart Street in Suva.
The Fiji Sun crew caught a glimpse of a unique oil painting by Silio that was breathtaking.
It is an oil painting of a beautiful Fijian lady holding a fan.
One look at Silio and one would not believe he painted that.
“I still have to complete that painting as I have some little things to add to it,” he said.
He added he used to do screen painting and sketch drawings before but never thought he could achieve so much in oil painting.
“I used to do just screen printing and sketch drawings before, but after I came to the ministry and met Roland, everything changed,” he said.
“Roland saw some of my drawings and he knew I had talent that was hidden, so he asked me to give oil painting a try.”
With a bit of help and advise from Roland, Silio sailed smoothly with his first oil paintings and he was also surprised with his own work.
“I got a shock when I saw my own work and I just moved on from there,” he said.
Silio said that he is grateful to Roland for his help and advise.
“I have some secrets in art that Roland does not know and he has his own secrets that I don’t know too,” he said.
“But I am grateful he has let the cat out of the bag with his secrets to help me find my footing in achieving my goals and dreams,” he added.
Silio said one night, he dreamt that he was inside a hall way full of oil paintings and he was walking along the hall taking a glimpse of the paintings.
“I got a shock that I saw my name in of those paintings along the hall way and that’s when I woke up,” he said.
“My dream may not carry much weight today as I am still struggling to make it come true, but one day I will get there,” Silio said.
“When I do get there, I will make sure I remember where I started off – right here at the ministry.”
The Ark of Hope Street Ministry, situated at Stewart Street in Suva, provides shelter and work opportunities to the unfortunates.
Ministry overseer Roland Wong, said they looked after street kids and other unfortunate people.
Roland who preferred to be in the background, said that most of the street kids don’t realize they have talent.
“A good example is Silio and there are other boys like him too,” he said.
Roland added their paintings would be sold business houses who are interested in them and that the proceeds would go to the funding of the ministry.

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