Imagine a world in which the limits of your art-form are non-existent. A world in which the voices of your ancestors whisper gently to you to create. A world in which those gone before work their magic through you to bring back to life a sleeping tradition.
This is the world in which Cora-Allan Wickliffe lives, creates, & navigates on her own as she brings back the Niuean art form of Hiapo whilst working full time in the arts & raising two young sons with her partner, Daniel.
Cora & I talked all things art & tradition & evolution & Hiapo here:
It's an honour & a pleasure to welcome Cora to the #KindnessWarriors fold! Thank you for sharing your wisdom & your journey with us.
Q & A With Cora-Allan Wickliffe
What three words best describe you?
Mama, Reliable, Loyal
Why those three words? As a mama I feel like that’s my most important role after being a partner to Daniel. I like reliability so that my kids and family can rely on my word and that I will do the things I say I am going to as I learnt later in life that lots of people don’t follow through and find it hard. I always have found it a natural thing to do what I am say I am going to do. Loyalty is number one to me, I am a ride of die type of person and once I am in your corner that’s it for life and even if your wrong we will be wrong together haha.
What did you want to be as a kid?
An artist, and a wife. I had this great grand dream of having a person to share life with and to go on long holidays with. Now being older I see you can do that with friends and not just a husband or boyfriend. I think I watched too many movies and read girlfriend magazines at the time. I have always been drawn to art because I think it’s a game of being smart, making moves that create social change and make those who say they don’t like or get art, enjoying it. Being apart of something makes people feel important so I want to make art that does that, I have recently been watching documentaries on todays richest artists and I like the way they employ thought, I may not agree but they are part of creating different art experiences for people to enjoy. Tell me about compassion & how it shows up for you daily.
As I grow older I have become more compassionate, I get tunnel vision when it comes to goals and need to actively remember if someone comes to me to chat or for my time I stop whatever I am doing and thinking about to give them what they need which is usually an ear. I do think however compassion is something that is just engrained in what I do and who I am as I learn and know better I make myself aware of moments where compassion is needed. Understanding for me is what compassion comes down to and show understanding to people throughout your day everyday is very important.
Who inspires you most in your daily life?
People who are living their dreams and hustling with a family. Before I had kids I did not really know how hard I could work, and how far I could go. Having less time and my sons has definitely motivated me and inspires me to work hard. I also really get inspired by other artists stories in documentaries, I search often to hear about their journeys because how they persevere really interests me, how one conducts themselves in the struggle is something I have always been drawn to. I also get inspired by mums who are pushing their prams early in the morning and those who always seem to have a tidy house.
Name a moment in your life when you were courageous!
I felt courageous when I finally decided to move into a relationship with Daniel. I enjoyed my life with my friends in Canada and taking a step towards being with someone else was a big decision for me and then we had a family immediately and have grown together which has been such a gift. What does kindness look like/mean to you & how does this manifest in your daily life?
I think kindness happens in many ways but engaging with other people in a mindful way is super important. Talking or smiling to them because it might may their day better or make them feel comfortable I think is kind, centering the feelings of others and not yourself. What motivates you to do what you do?
I love art, I love family so finding the balance to have both in my life in a way there is synergy motivates me. I feel like the balance is always moving but either way I get to have both be in my life in extreme amounts. I watched a lot of friends with artists parents get neglected, because I know how art can be so important you put it first in your life. I knew I didn’t want to be that kind of parent where the kids come second. I often can be in an interesting conversation at an art gallery but then stop mid sentence to leave if the family needs me because mama is my first role.
When are you happiest?
When I feel like I can provide for my family and everyone is healthy and happy. I am an easy person to please, I enjoy a good cup of tea or even warm slippers just to feel happy!
We’ve all got a zinger of a power song what’s yours?
Fatman Scoop – Crooklyn Clan from when I use to go clubbing haha
Introvert or Extrovert?
Both I think, I like being both and moving between the spaces
What’s one thing we could all do to change the world for the better?
Teach our kids good habits of how to be better katiaki for papatuanuku. Name a deal-breaker for you.
Smoking and mean people.
When did you last sing out loud? (Also, what were you singing?)
Radio gaga while walking into my office, I love Queen and came late to the party. I watched the Freddy Mercury movie on a plane and because I enjoy watching movies and documentaries about artists I was hooked. I was also embarrassed it took me this long to know how great they were.
What’s your biggest hope for the world in 2020?
That we would continue to have Aunty Cindy as our leader and that kids and families who are in trouble find some peace in their lives together. What’s your biggest fear for the world in 2020?
That we continue to not listen and let our own agendas get in the way of choosing a better world You get one super-power, what is it?
To read minds like Edward from Twilight, yes I said Twilight I am an unapologetic Twi-hard fan from way back!
Find out more about Cora & her work here: