Humans of the Islands - Angela Tiatia
With Samoan and Australian heritage, NZ-born Angela Tiatia is an award winning Multimedia artist.
This year Tiatia was included in the Harper's Bazaar Visionary Women portfolio and will be speaking at the Harper's Bazaar Visionary Women event panellist discussion.
What's cool about being a video artist?
It's exciting and challenging as each new work needs to be approached differently each time. The process is dependant on being very social - so I get to meet and work with lots of amazing people.
Tell us about some of the themes in your work?
Wow... a big question... in short... I look at how the Pacific body/place/experience has been stereotyped through images/media/popular culture/art over the last 150 years. Within this time frame, I explore ways in which I can challenge these stereotypes and create new narratives and imagery. As well as this, I also look at the universality of the human experience and the human condition that binds us all.
What was the winning piece about?
I augment these narratives into one single unbroken shot, panning through an intricately choreographed cast of 30 performers across a 30 metre set design.
This work was commissioned by The Australian War Memorial with a very specific brief - The Fall of Singapore - to be exhibited to a general audience in both The National Museum of Singapore and The Australian War Memorial. Even though the brief was very specific, I wanted the work to transcend its history of WWII by figuratively holding a mirror to reflect the fragility of our own contemporary times.
How does your 'Samoan-ness' express in your art?
It varies. Sometimes it is expressed with subtlety within the image. For example, the opening sequence of The Fall is a lush tropical scene with a male and female running past the camera with machetes I had purchased in Apia. Other times it is expressed very boldly as in my work Walking the Wall.
How significant is winning the award for you as a Samoan female artist in Australia?
Hopefully it will open more doors and opportunity for my work to be seen here in Australia. We'll see. It's still early days.