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  • Jan 29, 2024

Artes Mundi 10 Announces Winner

From left to right: Installation view of TALOI HAVINI’s Habitat, 2017, three-channel HD video with color: 16 min 9 sec, and surround sound: 10 mins 40 sec. Photo by Stuart Whipps. Portrait of TALOI HAVINI. Photo by Zan Wimberley. Both courtesy Artes Mundi. 

On January 26, the Welsh biennial exhibition and art prize Artes Mundi announced that artist Taloi Havini of the Nakas/Hakö tribe is the winner of its tenth edition. Born in Bougainville and based in Brisbane, the artist has was awarded GPB 40,000 (USD 51,000) and is currently exhibiting at the multipurpose arts space Mostyn in Llandudno and at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. 

“I am elated and yet feel incredibly humbled to be receiving this prestigious prize . . . during what has been a very challenging time globally,” Havini stated. “It means a lot to me that my people’s Indigenous ancestral stories have had a presence in Cardiff and Llandudno. 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 is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans photography, audio–video, sculpture, immersive installations, and printmaking. Collaborating with communities both locally and internationally, her artwork centers on archiving the production, transmission, inheritance, mapping, and representation of knowledge within the context of her birthplace in Papua New Guinea. 

At Mostyn, Havini’s immersive three-channel video installation Habitat (2017), a part of the artist’s ongoing series since 2016, delves into the legacy of Australia’s resource extraction in the Pacific. Havini also presented her new work Where the rivers flow (Panguna, Jaba, Pangara, Konawiru) (2023) which involves 40 printed stills from a film documentation of the artist’s journey through the tropical island of Bougainville. Chapter also showcased Hyena (day and night) (2023), a new photographic work that marks the second addition to her Hyena series (2019). The artwork comprises a wall print of a 1970s slide of women from her father’s family collecting shells from a reef and three light boxes of bright coral images.

Director of Artes Mundi Nigel Prince stated that Havini’s “practice [is] rooted in her own communities yet speak[s] to the world with care, precision and measure.” Her works exhibited at Wales “embed and establish a series of starting points from which to enable a redrawing of positions toward future positive directions and healing.”

As part of its tenth anniversary celebration (October 20, 2023–February 25), Artes Mundi partnered for the first time with venues across Wales, including Llandudno’s Mostyn, Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre, Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Newtown’s Oriel Davies Gallery, and National Museum Cardiff, where the works of all shortlisted artists will be exhibited.

Camilla Alvarez-Chow is an editorial assistant at ArtAsiaPacifc. 

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