Telly Tuita was born in Tonga (1980) and immigrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1989. In 2017 Tuita immigrated to Aotearoa and is now based in Lyall Bay, Wellington. After six years of studying art and education Tuita has recently returned to a full-time creative practice. Tuita works predominantly in paint and photography as well as through performance art.
Concerned with location, connection and cultural identity, Tuita’s practice is an ongoing review of people and events which traverses time. Mythical figures feature prominently in the works alongside people from Tonga’s colonial history. Deeply personal and simultaneously reflective of the experiences of many, Tuita’s works are gaining recognition across Australasia for there relevance, complexity and assuredness.
Tuita completed a Bachelor of Fine Art through Western Sydney University (1999-2003) before undertaking a Bachelor of Art Education through the University of New South Wales (2004). In 2011 Tuita completed a Master’s in Special Education through the University of Sydney. In addition to Tuita’s qualifications, Tuita took home the Fisher’s Ghost Contemporary Art Award in 2015 and since has been a finalist in both the National Contemporary Art Award and the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award.