Adriana Lear

Self-portrait, 2018

Sound | still image


3 minutes, 5 seconds | 150 cm x 100 cm / print

Images shot and edited + music score composed, performed and produced by Adriana Lear, featuring wearable art pieces by Xavier Harvey



Self-portrait employs a decolonial lens to explore themes of bicultural female experience. It draws on the Indigenous Tongan and Moana (Oceania/Pacific) based Tā-Vā (Time-Space) Theory of Art to explore the temporal and spatial qualities of conflict and resolution within music and socio-cultural iconographies.

The experimental musical work is based on two archival Tongan nose-flute melodies and three Tongan drum patterns. It features live flute and electronic percussion, arranged to organically produce moments of consonance and dissonance, and to blur the lines between what is ‘in’ and ‘out’ of time.

The images question the conflict between internal and external identities. Red and yellow lighting is used to symbolise Tonga and Australia’s national flowers: red heilala and golden wattle. The tree sprouts a rose and a hibiscus as iconic symbols that have been historically impressed upon female sexuality.

As an installation, the music is intended to activate the time-space in which the viewer engages with the images, separate from the passage of ‘real’ time outside.