The property on which Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery is located was acquired in 1964 by Suzanne Bastien. Suzanne, who sadly passed away in 2013 always worked for the conservation of the seashore and the preservation of the numerous trees and plant species established here.
It was Suzanne’s wish for the gallery (which opened in 2013) to be built to house her considerable contemporary art collection and to be as space for continued nurturing of contemporary art for future generations.
A brief history of Suzanne Bastien in Vanuatu
1960 Suzanne came to Vanuatu from Noumea as a school teacher.
1964 Suzanne purchased the 4 hectare property and enriched
it by planting many local plants and trees.
1971 Suzanne and Hardison Roru, from Pentecost Island, started
L’Atelier. The business sold art, artefacts and did picture framing.
Suzanne also helped two French artists, Robert Tatin d’Avesniéres
and Henri Crocq. Tatin, lived and painted on the property.
Some of their paintings are now displayed in the Gallery.
1975 Suzanne and French artist Patrice Cujo, worked with local
artists to establish the Nawita Association.
1989 Suzanne purchased Patrice Cujo’s 18 paintings entitled
“Maps blong Vanuatu” which represent all the Islands in Vanuatu.The artist created them so that beyond the physical aspect of each island, they also represent the intangibles of myth, legend and relationship of the islanders to their land and culture.
2006 Suzanne set up the Suzanne Bastien Foundation.
It is now run by a committee with Macha Paris as director.
Members of the Committee
Willie Ben Karie
The Director of Alliance Française in Vanuatu, Georges Cumbo
The Director of Vanuatu Cultural Centre, Richard Shing
The Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in Vanuatu
President: Sero Kuautonga
Vice-President: Willie Ben Karie
Treasurer: Ralph Regenvanu
Secretary: Georges Cumbo