Join us from 5pm next Thursday 1 December to celebrate the opening of Salome Tanuvasa's solo exhibition.

A feeling of; a sensation of began with a grey day driving around the craggy windswept south coast of Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. Emerging over the course of several months, the colours, shapes, and gestures that appear in Salome Tanuvasa’s paintings capture something of the atmosphere of that distinctive landscape. The verdant green of bush tumbling down the hillside, a shaft of light slicing through the grey cloud above, a glimpse of turbulent sea punctuated by white caps, the red ochre of the rocks, the sound of wind and water lashing against the shore.

The works in this exhibition exemplify Tanuvasa’s lightness of touch and her remarkable ability to arrest a sense of immediacy. In a process akin to automatic writing – where words are produced subconsciously – the artist’s mark-making is intuitive and inspired by that which she observes in nature and her immediate surroundings. Tanuvasa’s forms begin to take on a visual code or language, or rather she creates space for a particular feeling or sensation to emerge.

Tanuvasa’s fabric banners are something of an ode to her seamstress mother, offering a contemplative reflection on the often-invisible domestic labour undertaken by women. As both a mother and full-time teacher, Tanuvasa’s own time in the studio is often fleeting, snatched here and there, picking up and putting down work when the moment avails itself.

Salome Tanuvasa (b. 1987 Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau) is of Tongan and Sāmoan heritage. Tanuvasa holds a BFA (Honours) and an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. She has been exhibiting since 2012 with recent exhibitions including A Study, Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland; Golden Daughters of the Sun, Southern Stars, London; Choose Happiness, Murray Art Museum, Albury NSW; Stars Start Falling, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth; From Our Beautiful Square, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland; This is a Library, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington; and Here is your horizon, Cement Fondu, Sydney. Tanuvasa’s works are held in public and private collections and in 2018 she won the Creative Award from the China Academy of Art, Huangzhou, China.

Natasha Matila-Smith has penned a poetic response to accompany the exhibition that you can read here(Matila-Smith is a creative based in Tāmaki Makaurau who cites her speciality as “sadgirl confessional” art and finding humour in moments of awkwardness.


  • Thu 01 Dec


  • 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm


  • 42 Victoria Street
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, 6011