We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


'Do they know ...', from the installation Burebasaga Maramas



Salote Tawale

Fiji, Australia

1976 –

  • Details

    Media categories
    Installation , Sculpture , Time-based art , Painting
    Materials used
    treated pine, corrugated iron, single channel video, colour, sound
    dimensions variable
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2018
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Salote Tawale

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Salote Tawale

    Works in the collection


  • About

    '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.

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Salote Tawale