I wanted my body of work to represent my culture so my teacher and I did some research and found out that the island I was from would be wiped out in about 50 years, so I wanted to share it around to let everyone know and to make a change.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: my teacher and fellow students.
Displaced is a passionate and personal dissertation on the plight of Pacific Islanders and the imminent demise of many communities due to climate change. Carefully sourced historical black and white portraits of Indigenous inhabitants, while documenting their beauty and pride, are overlaid and obliterated by text, graphs and imagery. These overlays successfully act as symbols that are erasing a people and their cultural heritage. The graphs plot the climatic impact and the text and varying fonts reference man and our inability to act in a timely manner on the data. Traditional weaving techniques and tattoo patterns are effectively incorporated to highlight further losses. The carefully chosen colour palette effectively underscores the gravity of the situation. The blue sea dominates as the key catalyst of this crisis and earthy tones in the weaving and timber frames allude to the traditional way of living that will be lost. Ben Tavita’s body of work is a sophisticated personal entreaty to stop his heritage from being displaced.