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Taloi Havini wins major Artes Mundi prize

| Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Taloi Havini
Taloi Havini (ABC)

BRISBANE - Brisbane-based artist Taloi Havini, originally from Buka Island in Bougainville, has won one of the UK's most important contemporary arts awards.

For her work, an ongoing exploration into the legacy of resource extraction and Australia’s fraught relationship in the Pacific, Havini collected the £40,000 (K190,000) prize at a ceremony last week in Cardiff, Wales, the home of the Artes Mundi prize.

"It means a lot to me that my people's Indigenous ancestral stories have had a presence in Cardiff and Llandudno," she said in a statement.

"It is my hope that Welsh and wider audiences can find some connection to histories of extraction and the ongoing struggle for cultural, environmental and political self-determination that I speak to in Bougainville."

Havini's immersive video installation, Habitat, explores the devastation caused by Australia's exploitation of the copper reserves in Bougainville.

Taloi Havini 'Shell Money' (Sharjah Biennual 2017)
'Shell Money' by Taloi Havini (Sharjah Biennual 2017)

Havini, who uses a range of media including photography, audio–video, sculpture, immersive installation and print to probe intersections of history, identity, and nation-building, said she had not expected to win the prize and found it humbling.

"I am elated and yet feel incredibly humbled to be receiving this prestigious prize," she said.

"It was an honour to have been nominated alongside these fellow artists. I am grateful to the jury and Artes Mundi for this opportunity during what has been a very challenging time globally."


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Lindsay F Bond

For more of Taloi Havini, see:

Also see:


Intending inveigling.

Philip Fitzpatrick

That sculpture looks like the old garden hose that I lost a few years ago.

It would be a pretty leaky old hose as the sculpture Beroana (shell money) consists of porcelain, earthenware, and steel - KJ

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