Essay

At Home and in the Studio: Telly Tuita

My lockdown bubble included my partner Hoani and our beautiful but bossy two-year-old, Bella. Bella is a vital part of the success of maintaining a home studio. She gives me daily exercise, routine and oodles of unrequited love. 

Reflecting on ‘Tongpop Fetish’ as relics of the modern age and with the global crisis still ongoing. Many objects such as face masks, gloves, toilet paper, guns and our smart phones have become symbolic of this time as how reliant, emotionally and physically, we humans are to objects! 

Having a home studio, it has become impossible to separate studio from living space. The results of full-time practice are all over the house and outside in various stages of completion.  The studio room was a lovely sunroom but three years on it has become a sort art work in itself. Archiving the room is a cacophony of things, colour, words and memories and ideas. It is very reflective of the way I think and the processes and objects used in my practice.  

At present I am working simultaneously on two solo exhibitions for the Centre of Contemporary Art in Christchurch in November and Precinct 35 Wellington in August. I just have finalised photographic series for group show in Australia held at Campbelltown Art Centre in January 2021.

I love this spot, the patio to my studio. It's north facing. Overlooks the street. Lots of thinking and planning happens while sitting here.

Bella and Hoani

Bella. This dog loves grass, eats it, rolls in it and can only do number twos in long grass.

I totally tidied the shelf up for the photo but look closely the traits of a hoarder can be seen and trademark Tongpop materials can be seen. Ribbon, circles of all sizes, shells, cardboard, brown paper and treasures from thrift and hospice shops.

My partner's office is full of Tongpop.

Sometimes this is how a new body of work might begin. A quote, a word.

The front deck and backyard are used as stages for photograpic series. Bella at times will walk through or just place herself in the shot.