Longing across ocean crossings, internal compasses, displacement, melancholy and maternal connection, generational bonds that will never be broken, lost biography, who you are when you cannot inhabit your home.
Nostalgia isn’t vinyl records, or cassette tapes, or a poster that was once tacked to your teen bedroom wall. Derived from the Greek word, it’s the pain from an old wound.
Talia Smith – born in occupied NZ, now living in occupied Australia – makes work with her family, separated by an ocean and a lifetime of memories, some of which she retrieves now, and some of which will be lost forever. In this work of personal storytelling, she writes a biography of her grandmother, told to her by her mother, in ribbons of text over layered, shifting shots of the Tasman Sea taken by herself (in Sydney) and her mother (in Auckland). It’s an unbordered wall of water that can’t be moved. The camera has often been a weapon of colonialism. But in these shots of dark waters, Smith chronicles a life she only knows of second-hand, overlays images of absence, and traces a mini history of transience.
About Talia Smith
Talia Smith is an artist and curator of Samoan, Cook Island and NZ European descent. Her photography, video and installations often dwell on separation across landscapes.