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Christina Pataialii, Bite fight/Mike Tyson, 2017. Acrylic paint, house paint, spray paint on canvas. Courtesy of the

Christina Pataialii, Mama Said, 2018. Acrylic, house paint and charcoal on canvas drop cloth. 1220 x 1220 mm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Christina Pataialii, On the Level, 2019. Acrylic and house paint on canvas drop cloth. 765 x 765mm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Kallan MacLeod.

Christina Pataialii, Installation view of Solid Gold, 2018. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Christina Pataialii’s paintings operate between abstraction and representation, exploring the tensions that arise from merging culturally specific codes and visual languages. Her work reflects a globalised cultural context and responds to recent geopolitical movements towards the construction of physical and ideological boundaries, specifically in the resurgence of western nationalism. Issues around identity, heritage and debt are all contained within the works, rooted in the experience of growing up in working class migrant communities.  

During her residency at Gasworks, Pataialii will respond directly to the context of London and her experiences in the city. Her recent work has been informed by the writing of cultural theorist Stuart Hall and she plans to collaborate with Stuart Hall Foundation to conduct research on his work.


Christina Pataialii lives and works in Wellington. Recent solo exhibitions include: On the Lam, Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland, 2019; Solid Gold, Te Tuhi, Auckland; Debt, RM Gallery, Auckland; Thoughts and Feelings, mother?, Auckland (all 2018) and Slow Jamz Till Midnight, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2017). Recent group exhibitions include Like a Boss, Franklin Art Centre, Auckland; Never an Answer, The Vivian, Auckland (both 2018); The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington; Influx, Pātaka Art + Museum, Wellington; and Rematerialized, DEMO, Auckland (all 2017).

Christina Pataialii’s residency is co-organised by Jan Warburton Charitable Trust and Stephanie Post, with the support of David and Libby Richwhite, Josephine and Ross Green and the NZ Friends of Gasworks, in collaboration with Creative New Zealand and Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland.