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Undertow 2022

Angela Tiatia

Born 1973 Tāmaki Makaurau| Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

Lives and works Warrang, Eora Country | Sydney, New South Wales



Aotearoa-born, Sāmoan/Australian artist Angela Tiatia makes works that speak to Pacific identity, the impact of colonialism and the realities of the climate emergency in a global context.  Holding On, 2015, seeks to understand the reality of the climate emergency and sea level rise in the Pacific, the vessel of water that Tiatia’s own ancestral island home of Sāmoa is situated within. In the creation of this body of work, Tiatia travelled to Tuvalu, a small island nation in the Pacific which sits just metres about sea level.


Tiatia is laid upon a concrete slab, her body in reverse cruciform, water lapping against her as the tide rises at the setting of the sun. The body positioning within the frame of the camera is purposeful, a comment on the faith that so many place in the hands of their Christian God, to save their island homes, while science and the rising waterline affirm another, more pressing and imminent reality.


Holding On, 2015, unpacks the intimate relationship between people and place, between body of person and body of water, between the threat and the threatened. Tiatia weaves these elements, often considered as separate or opposing, back together physically and emotionally, reminding us of the deep affection island communities have for the ocean-spaces that surround their homes and the entwinedness of these spaces and their enduring stories in the very fabric of identity and belonging in the Pacific.

visit FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre

Open 9am–5pm, 7 days


1 Finnerty Street
Western Australia