Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis by Angela Tiatia
Image: Angela Tiatia, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis, 2010, 1 minute, 31 seconds, Single-channel High Definition video, 16:9, colour, no sound, Edition of 5. © Image courtesy of the Artist and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne.
Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis was filmed in Vaimaanga at the site of the Cook Islands' failed Sheraton Resort development. In this work Angela Tiatia creates a sense of suspense as the camera slowly leads us through a garden, where we are confronted with the intimate image of a woman with a flower in her mouth. Visually dramatic, the bright scarlet petals contrast the dark green vegetation as Tiatia slowly eats the hibiscus: a Pacific icon. Her penetrating gaze is both powerful and provocative.
Tiatia is interested in the representation of Pacific women and this work was conceived as 'a simple gesture that would cross the language barrier' and represents displeasure over the historic and ongoing objectification and misrepresentation of Pacific women.
Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis was part of the Yarra City Arts Peel Street Park Projection Program, from 6 August - 2 September, 2016.