acrylic on canvas
1400 x 1800 mm
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My portrait work centres around connections. We all have these spiritual
connections through the land. It connects us to everyone and everything. The
sitters I paint are those who I have a more tangible connection with. A connection
through our passion for culture. Tahlia connects me back to home, but at the same
time connects me to my new home here in Australia. She is very proud of her
heritage, but also recognises the connections to her new home. She’s part of a
new generation, a generation that is helping create a more global community. And
hopefully, a better planet.
Tahlia is Māori. She has strong connections on both sides of her family, including
the tribes of Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Kahungunu. She is surrounded by her
culture and influenced by it every day. Yet she was born and resides in Australia.
Our communities are being enriched everyday by multiple cultures that reside side
by side. There are so many wonderful things we can all learn from each other if
we simple understand and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Tahlia
identifies as Māori. Her passport identifies her as Australian. But ultimately, she’s
human. Just like you and me.