Louisa Afoa

Samoa / Aotearoa New Zealand
Samoan, Pasifika

Blue Clam

  • 2018
  • Digital photograph
  • Purchased 2021
  • 995 x 1490mm
  • 2021/147

A few years ago, Louisa Afoa began her ongoing project A Pool is not the Ocean when she moved from her family home in Papakura to Torbay on the North Shore of Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland – two suburbs with very different socioeconomic and cultural make-up. The series, which includes Blue Clam, explores brown bodies in white spaces, exposing moments of prejudice, misconception and racism in suburban middle-class New Zealand.

Blue Clam is a self-portrait in the style of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, an Italian Renaissance painting that shows the classical goddess of love and beauty arriving on land in a clam shell. Recreating the work in her own backyard, Louisa shows how beauty is contextual and depends on your cultural perspective – that there are many kinds of beauty.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History