Angela Tiatia

Aotearoa New Zealand / Australia / Samoa, b.1973


  • 2015
  • Single-channel HD video, colour, sound, duration 6 mins 33 secs
  • Purchased 2018
  • 2018/040

With Lick, Angela Tiatia presents a balancing act between resistance and vulnerability. Filmed in Tuvalu, a South Pacific nation endangered by rising sea levels because of global warming, it shows how environmental, political and cultural issues can intersect.Because of the actions (and inaction) of much larger nations, Tuvaluans face losing their homeland and irreplaceable aspects of their culture within the next fifty years. As Tiatia fights to hold her position on a small piece of coral, we glimpse her malu – a traditional leg tattoo and adornment specific to Samoan women – through the shifting water. Associated with cultural responsibilities, sheltering and protection, the malu emphasises both Tiatia’s Oceanic heritage and the need to protect its people and their way of life.

(Te Wheke, 2020)

Exhibition History