Tautai’s Fale-ship Residency Programme returns in 2021 to support 10 creatives to make and develop new work from home. Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust is thrilled to announce the recipients of the Fale-ship Residency programme 2021. A Moana evolution of the ...

Tautai’s Fale-ship Residency Programme returns in 2021 to support 10 creatives to make and develop new work from home. Tautai ...

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Fun, warm and vibrant, Tai’s work speaks to her own experience, embracing and celebrating her culture in the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same. Doing her Fale-ship in lockdown encouraged Tai to hone her skills and expand her knowledge by exploring digital mediums.

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‘Isope ‘Akau’ola is an emerging talent offering a distinctly Tongan perspective to choreography and performing arts. The sincere nature of ‘Isope’s work reflects his Fale-ship experience. Sharing a bubble with his loved ones created an environment of collaboration, reflection and learning.

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Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust is thrilled to announce the recipients of the Fale-ship Residency programme 2021!

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Fale-ship: Tai Nimo


Fun, warm and vibrant, Tai’s work speaks to her own experience, embracing and celebrating her culture in the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same. Doing her Fale-ship in lockdown encouraged Tai to hone her skills and expand her knowledge by exploring digital mediums. 

“I am of Tongan, German descent on my father’s side and Cook Island, Pakeha on my mother’s side. My conceptual practice is centred around being ‘Afakasi’ (mixed) and my creative practice is Illustration, stop-motion animation and traditional drawing. I’m currently located in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty and this is where my Fale-ship Residency is taking place (although my heart will always be for Mangere). I’m in my final year of undergraduate studies (BFA) at UoA Elam, School of Fine Arts. I’m extremely passionate in creating work that reflects my mixed heritage and how I navigate my identity in today’s environment.” 

– Tai Nimo

Using illustration and stop-motion, Tai navigates her Afakasi identity through her art. A sense of nostalgia and memories of childhood are explored through the colourful palette of her self-portraits. Proudly presenting herself and her culture through bold lines and flowing movement. 

In Between’

Tai Nimo, 2021

“In Between – is a series of self-portraits I illustrated based around the different forms my cultural identity has taken during different stages of my life.  I chose to incorporate the bright ‘Lunch Box’ colours as a reference to my inner child, as a way of acknowledging her and the struggles she faced growing up as an Afakasi.” 

“I drew each frame of the stop-motion animations. One challenge to creating these animations was working within the time frame of two weeks. A highlight of working in a tight schedule, was being able to create short clips in which I feel represents me best in my skills and conceptual ideas. These animations are to be played on loop.” 


Check out Tai’s highlight video as she reflects on his Tautai Fale-ship Residency!  

Tai reflects on her Fale-ship experience in the Bay of Plenty in contrast with her upbringing in Mangere, South Auckland. The Fale-ship Residency allowed her time to reflect upon her childhood growing up as an Afakasi kid, and how she proudly embraces her cultural identity today. 

“This work is me and is proudly mine… I do want to share myself with people who are willing to look at my art, as these are a reflection of my identity, childhood and these are self-portraits. So I would want them to see me, for me.” 


Video by @NoSix

@taiz.art | @tai.nimo

For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Fale-ship: ‘ISOPE ‘AKAU’OLA



‘Isope ‘Akau’ola is an emerging talent offering a distinctly Tongan perspective to choreography and performing arts. The sincere nature of ‘Isope’s work reflects his Fale-ship experience. Sharing a bubble with his loved ones created an environment of collaboration, reflection and learning.

“Mālō e lelei ko hoku hingoa ko ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola and I hail from the villages of Lotofoa and ‘Utulau in the beautiful kingdom of Tonga but I was born and raised in Tamaki Makaurau. My residency is currently taking place in Mt Roskill/Puketāpapa. I am currently in my second year, studying towards my Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance. My passion for dance originated from a love of Pasifika dance and theatre. As a child of the Pacific diaspora, I have found parallels within my own identity and the art that I want to create. I also aspire to develop a practice for myself as a New Zealand-born Tongan artist.” 


‘Manatu ki ‘Api’

Thoughtful, fresh and evoking loto-māfana, ‘Isope reflects on the value of tauhi vā (nurturing relationships) and holding space through choreography and moving-image. Inspired by the visual language of music videos, ‘Isope’s work shares the perspectives of his mother, a proud Tongan from Mt Roskill and himself, a child of the Pacific diaspora. Interweaving visual symbolism and gestural motifs, ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ asks ‘What is home? What can I call home? and What remains of home within us?’

‘Isope presents his final work: ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ (Remember Your Home) 
Featuring: Fisioko ‘Akau’ola, Mj Pelarion, Pepetua ‘Akau’ola, ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola 

“I have lived in the same state home in Mt Roskill for my whole life. Mt Roskill is currently going through a huge redevelopment phase where state homes are being demolished in favour of new houses and the people who live in them, majority being Pacific and Maori, are and have been evicted. For children of the Pacific diaspora we are constantly in search of home. We are not from here but we walk this land. When home is being demolished and you are forced to move out or when home is seas away, what is home? What can we call home? and What remains of home within us?” 


Music/Sound Credits: 
Angi e Matangi – Holonga Kava Club 
Multi-stage fitness test (MSFT) 

Check out ‘Isope’s highlight video as he reflects on his Tautai Fale-ship Residency!  

‘Isope shares his experience of creating during lockdown. He was able to collaborate with his bubble to produce his final work ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ filmed at his home and neighborhood of Mt Roskill. The idea of ‘hope’ is present throughout his work and a relevant concept to the world we live in today and the uncertainty that surrounds us.  

“I would love for people to take away a sense of hope. I think hope is such a beautiful thing to have and to hold on to. I think there’s hope for the community and there’s hope for people like me, and there’s hope for the world that I’m imagining or the world that we are imagining together.”  

– ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola

Video by @NoSix

For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Fale-ship Recipients 2021

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust is thrilled to announce the recipients of the Fale-ship Residency programme 2021!

The 2021 Fale-ship Residency recipients are:  Elsie Andrews (visual arts), Etanah Falagā Talapā (visual arts), ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola (dance), Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (performance art), Kasi Valu (writer), Marina Alefosio (music/poetry), Sione Faletau (visual/sound art), Tai Nimo (visual arts), Warren Paea (photography), Teremoana Rapley (music).

In 2021, residency artists are also supported by Tautai’s new Fale-Ship Ambassadors: New Zealand Herald VIVA, Basement Theatre, The Big Idea.

Recipients will be showcased across Tautai’s platforms between October – December 2021, activating and nurturing the vā both digitally and physically throughout the community. 

We are so excited to see what these incredible Tagata Moana creatives have to share over the course of the coming months! Make sure to like this page and follow our Instagram to see each Fale-ship as they launch across our channels.

Tautai.org  #tautai4lyfe

2021 Fale-ship Residency recipients

Tautai’s Fale-ship Residency Programme returns in 2021 to support 10 creatives to make and develop new work from home.

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust is thrilled to announce the recipients of the Fale-ship Residency programme 2021. A Moana evolution of the word fellowship, the TautaiFale-ship residencies centre on the everyday making and thinking of Pasifika creatives operating in their own creative centres.

Initially developed by Tautai in response to Aotearoa’s 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, the Fale-ship Residencies provide support for a two-week residency for ten Tagata Moana creatives living in Aotearoa. The Residencies are open to all Pacific practitioners from across the arts and are granted by a selection panel of industry leaders.

The 2021 Fale-ship Residency recipients are: Elsie Andrewes (visual arts); Etanah Falagā Talapā (visual arts); ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola (dance); Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (performance art); Kasi Valu (writer); Marina Alefosio (music/poetry); Sione Faletau (visual/sound art); Tai Nimo (visual arts); Warren Paea (photography); and Teremoana Rapley (music).

Each artist receives a grant of NZD$2,000 to support the development of new or existing projects in their own creative centres. Residencies will take place over September 2021 and at the conclusion of their residency, each of the 2021 Fale-ship Residency recipients will be showcased across Tautai’s platforms between October – December 2021, activating and nurturing the Vā (the energy between) both digitally and physically throughout the community.

In 2021, the Fale-ship Residencies are also supported by new ambassador organisations: New Zealand Herald VIVA; Basement Theatre; and The Big Idea. Ambassadors are committed to supporting Tagata Moana Indigenous authorship through diverse and collaborative platforms.

Tautai Director Courtney Sina Meredith says, “The Fale-ships form part of a deeper kaupapa to bolster the creative expression of Moana artists during this time of great change. We worked hard to adapt our programme during the initial 2020 lockdown with meaningful offerings that I felt had the potential for real impact across the sector.”

The Tautai Fale-ship Residencies are generously supported by Creative New Zealand and Foundation North.

“The residencies are about more than platforming exciting talent during lockdown, they are driven by an indigenous determination to re-centre the power dynamic within the wider arts landscape. The celebration of Moana artists creating within their own sacred spaces is as political as it is beautiful. I cannot wait to see what these residencies inspire in the 10 selected artists and within the Tautai community.”

Courtney Sina Meredith, Tautai Director

Meet the 2021 Tautai Fale-ship Residency recipients

Elsie Andrewes Visual arts

Elsie Andrewes is a digital illustrator based in Whangarei, Northland and is of Fijian and Pākeha descent. Her family immigrated to Aotearoa in 2000. Her interest in visual arts began through early exposure to her father’s collections of antiques, artwork and music from around the world, and her mother’s own archives of books, handcrafted mats, masi kesa and storytelling. These diverse influences heavily inspire Elsie’s practice, which draws from sources ranging from the detailed patterns of masi and photographs of the iconic Fijian sunset, to Motown music and literature. 


Etanah Falagā Talapā Visual arts

Born in Te Awakairangi (Hutt Valley), Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), Etanah Falagā Talapā is a multi-disciplinary artist who hails from Afega and Falealili, Sa’anapu in Samoa. She currently lives in Petone, Te Awakairangi i tai (Lower Hutt). Etanah’s creative practice operates at the intersections of public installation, digital art, photography and mixed-media. Her work is inspired by her Pasifika community, her aiga and the people and landscape of her community, Awakairangi (Hutt Valley). Etanah graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design from Massey University in 2018, has held a Tautai Oceania Internship at Tauranga Art Gallery and was an artist mentor in a youth-led programme at Taita and Naenae Clubhouse. She is currently Curator, Exhibitions and Public Programmes, at Enjoy Art Gallery, Poneke.

‘Isope ‘Akau’ola Dance

‘Isope ‘Akau’ola is a Tongan (‘Utulau and Lotofoa) performance artist who was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau. He is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance. ‘Isope’s passion for dance originated from a love of Pasifika dance and theatre and he has worked with various artists and groups including Aloali’i Tapu, Sau e Siva creatives and Tanya Muagututi’a. As a child of the Pacific diaspora ‘Isope has found parallels within his own identity and the art that he wants to create and aspires to develop a practice for himself and his voice as a New Zealand-born Tongan artist.

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila Performance art

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila was born in the Kingdom of Tonga and lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau. His practice revolves around performance, making durational performance works that are often informed by his Tongan heritage. Tradition, masculinity and cultural bias are ideas that Kalisolaite explores. Through his performance works he often seeks to promote a sense of understanding and togetherness. Kalisolaite received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology in 2010, followed by a Masters of Performance & Media Arts in 2016. He has received multiple residencies for his practice, including the Montalvo Arts Centre Residency, California (2018); Youkobo Art Space Residency, Tokyo (2018) and ZK/U & Ifa Galerie Residency, Berlin (2016). In 2014 he was selected as a finalist in the Walters Prize for his 2012 work Mo’ui Tukuhausia. In 2020 he was awarded the Harriet Friedlander Residency by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

Kasi Valu Writer

Kasi Valu is a Tongan (Mau’ufanga, Lapaha) multidisciplinary performer, playwright and poet based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington). Kasi was born and raised in Grey Lynn, Tāmaki Makurau and moved to Wellington to pursue a career in performing arts studying at Toi Whakaari. Through writing and its translation into performance, Kasi explores the experience of being a child of the Pacific diaspora and aims to highlight the importance of art and storytelling for the next generation. Inspired by his community, Kasi creates in order to return the love that has supported him.

Marina Alefosio Music/poetry

Marina Alefosio is a proud Aotearoa-born Samoan storyteller hailing from the villages of Mulifanua, Falefa and Leauva’a. Marina has trained and performed as a performance poet, participating in and leading community and youth groups in performance and poetry workshops. She was a member of the critically acclaimed South Auckland Poets Collective and has performed both locally and internationally. Marina is inspired by her own children and the next generation, and wants to grow the Pasifika youth sector through creative methods such as spoken word poetry and scriptwriting.

Sione Faletau  Visual/sound art

Based in Ōtara, Tāmaki Makaurau, Sione Faletau is a multidisciplinary artist of Tongan decent, from the villages of Taunga and Lakepa. Sione explores the mediums of performance, video, drawing, sculpture, and installation, but more recently has shifted his practice towards the digital art realm. He explores the semiotics of soundscape and design, creating kupesi (patterns) from audio wave spectrums of sound. Inspired by his Tongan culture and heritage, Faletau uses art as a vehicle to deepen his understanding of self, his people, and the Moana at large. His previous works notion to traditional stories, myths and concepts inherent in Tongan culture and he has exhibited at a number of galleries and institutions. With a Masters in Fine Arts from Elam, Sione is currently completing his Doctoral studies.

Tai Nimo Visual arts

Māngere-based creative, Tai Nimo is a digital artist of Tongan, Niuean, German descent on her father’s side and Cook Island, American and Pākeha on her mother’s side. Inspired by her diverse cultural heritage, Tai creates works that reflect her identity and environment – her mediums include illustration, stop-motion animation and traditional drawing. Since Aotearoa’s first lockdown in early 2020, Tai has adapted to creating from home, sourcing new inspiration and embracing the environment around her. Tai is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at Elam.

Teremoana Rapley Music

Teremoana Rapley is an award-winning musician and a stalwart of Aoteroa’s Entertainment Industry. She has collectively received the Taite Music Prize twice; first in 2016 with Upper Hutt Posse and then again in 2019 with Moana and the Moahunters. In 2018, Upper Hutt Posse received the Legacy Award and she was also inducted into the Aotearoa Music Hall of Fame. Teremoana is the only musician to receive all four accolades in New Zealand music history. Over her career in music and television, Teremoana has worked across various disciplines including graphic design, moving image, costume-design, choreography, lighting design, set-design, sculpture, acrylic art and audio design. She is a multi-disciplinary and inter-dimensional creative, who provides space for an unhindered reconnection to her tupuna.

Warren Paea  Photography

Warren Paea is a Niuean visual artist currently living in Arch Hill/Grey Lynn and born and raised in Māngere East, South Auckland. He is a graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts and his practice spans photography, print and sound, with a particular focus on portraiture and street photography. Warren often takes candid and intimate photos of people, using the photographic medium to connect to or illustrate connections with various communities. His work captures and celebrates the depth of interconnectivity between people and explores the complexities of identity.


For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

2021 Tautai Fale-ship Residencies



Inspired by daily life, contemporary Tagata Moana art is in a constant state of flux and expansion. Making discoveries and stretching into what is possible, our artists are shaped by the people and places that give life to their creativity. Some of the best work is made around the busyness of family life: in the early morning, late at night when the kids have gone to bed, in living rooms surrounded by elders, and at home studios where Moana creatives feel grounded and connected to those that are most important.

We invite our community to share their practice as artists in residence over a two-week period, responding to global transformation through a localised lens. Experienced digitally but grounded in the physical, the 2021 Tautai Fale-ship Residencies place value on the everyday experiences of Moana artists operating in their own creative centres. In a model conceived in response to the 2020 lockdown, we now celebrate the Fale-ship residencies as a vital part of Tautai’s ongoing programme to champion Pacific creativity. 

This year we are excited to be collaborating with Fale-ship Ambassadors for the first time:

  • Basement Theatre
  • VIVA
  • The Big Idea

Our Fale-ship Ambassadors are committed to supporting the indigenous authorship of Tagata Moana artists and each organisation brings a different strength to this opportunity. By expanding into our sector community – we are shaping a more expansive, meaningful, and collaborative platform.

This initiative aims to encourage connections through the digital Moana as we continue to navigate to a new sense of normal, acknowledging not only the challenges that we encounter but also embracing the opportunities presented through positive response to change. Flipping the paradigm of indigenous practitioners operating in mainstream centres for visibility, the Fale-ships take audiences with respect and alofa, to where our artists feel most powerful in their own sacred space.


Read the brief above. If you’re interested in the 2021 Tautai Fale-ship Residencies please submit your application by Monday 30 August at midday. Submit your proposal as a PDF or Word doc via the application form below. Or download the form here.

 Applications must include: 

  • A short-written biography including your ethnicity/villages/identifiers and your practice. What inspires you? Where do you create and why?
  • One-page outlining your two-week residency proposal. 
  • 1 hi-res profile image of yourself and 5 hi-res images or links of your work (please label)
  • A hi-res image of your creative workspace and the location of where the residency will take place (suburb and city) 

 For inspiration check out TAUTAI FALE-SHIP HOME RESIDENCES 2020 here.

Successful artists will receive NZD$2000, community connectivity, and a range of in-kind support from Tautai and participating Fale-ship Ambassador partners.  


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