Burebasaga ladies, from the installation Burebasaga Maramas
'Burebasaga Maramas' is a celebration of the resilience of Salote Tawale's matrilineal line. 'Burebasaga' refers to the confederacy Tawale's family belongs to in the Fiji Islands and 'Marama' is the Fijian word for women or ladies.
The discrete elements of the work explore different cultural mythologies, contemporary realities and future prospects for Fijian women, given the enduring traumas wrought by colonisation - including loss of culture and low life expectancy. The wall painting refers to the traditional weaving practice of the artist’s grandmother; the diorama figure is a representation of her aunt on a fishing expedition; one of the videos shows the artist herself, draped in Salu Salu (decorative lei); and the other, filmed on Fiji, records the social aspect of food preparation.
Tawale often makes use of materials such as calico, tarpaulin and corrugated iron, which act as contemporary substitutes for traditional Fijian materials – such as masi (bark cloth) and palm leaves. For the artist, these materials embody cultural continuities and signal her place in the Pacific diaspora.
synthetic polymer paint and satin varnish on plywood, synthetic polymer paint on wall, bamboo, fishing wire
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2018
Not on display
© Salote Tawale
Shown in 1 exhibition
Unfinished business : perspectives on art and feminism, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, South Bank, 15 Dec 2017–25 Mar 2018
Referenced in 1 publication
Max Delany and Annika Kristensen, Unfinished business: perspectives on art and feminism, Melbourne, 2017.