Christina Pataialii graduated with an MFA from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in 2018.
On the strength of her Graduation show she was awarded the Iris Fisher Scholarship, allowing her to make her public gallery debut at Auckland’s Te Tuhi Gallery with the critically acclaimed Solid Gold.
In 2019 she presented her first dealer gallery show, On the Lam, at Tim Melville and later that same year was awarded the inaugural Rydal Art Prize – a $20,000 contemporary painting prize administered by Tauranga Art Gallery – as well as the coveted London Gasworks Residency.
Pataialii’s paintings are made with acrylic and house-paint, often on canvas drop-cloth. Her confident mark-making pushes the medium’s constraints, abstracting and rearranging motifs from urban landscapes – rugby posts, picket fences, window curtains, smokestacks and maunga – to create poised and potent artworks loaded with dynamic formal energy.
Pataialii describes the inspiration for her practice as coming from her experience growing up in working-class migrant communities in Auckland’s western and central suburbs. She considers the sense of mobility attached to that experience while at the same time questioning historical notions of ‘single’ cultural identities. In a review of Solid Gold, ArtAsiaPacific writer Wei Hao Qi described the artist’s imagery as not only highlighting the sociocultural narratives that exclude certain groups, but also as being “an exploration of diversity, community and the contemporary politics of nationalism”.
Christina Pataialii’s work is an acknowledgement of the complexity of inheritance and collective nostalgia. We are excited to be working with her.