Adriana Lear

Motif, 2018

Single-channel High Definition video

6 minutes, 47 seconds

16:9, colour, sound

Film produced & edited + music score composed, performed & produced by Adriana Lear, featuring Adriana’s brothers Michael & Daniel Lear


Motif is a narrative-driven work based on motivic devices used in both European music and Tongan art forms. It explores principles of Tongan motif (kupesi) such as symbolism and the intersection and mediation of equal and opposite pairs to produce notions of symmetry and cyclic time. The ocean is used as a motivic representation of connection and separation between the Moana and the West. It is expanded into other symbols of transit and transitional physical and psychological spaces as well as general motifs drawn from archival records, tourist iconography, popular culture, and American Hollywood films. The cinematic soundtrack features string quartet, solo flute, piano, and percussion with electronic instruments and field recordings.

*Copyright approved