Talia Smith, Maybe this is letting go, 2021, photograph
Talia Smith, Maybe this is letting go, 2021, photograph
Hyphenated Biennial, A collective (un)learning to reframe our views of the world today, November 2021 - April 2022
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Maybe this is letting go: Talia Smith

10 December 2021 - 10 April 2022


Artist(s): Talia Smith

Location: Incinerator Gallery Billboard

Maybe this is letting go is a photographic billboard installation by Talia Smith that explores the emotional connection to familial histories and ancestral homelands when you are physically removed.

The term, vā, is a Sāmoan term that can be loosely translated to describe a space in between where past, present and future coexist to facilitate both personal and collective wellbeing. Smith's research and practice uses their own personal lived experience to investigate this space and to position that those from the pacific diaspora can use the vā to reflect on their identities outside of western constructs.

The project is an attempt at visually exploring this notion of the vā through still life, archival and landscape photography that have been taken from her birth country, ancestral homelands and the unceeded lands she now lives on. With pacific or moana peoples being so global how can one maintain their connection to their cultural histories?


Presented by Incinerator Gallery and Hyphenated Projects.

Talia Smith is an artist and curator from Aotearoa and now based in Sydney, Australia. She is of Samoan, Cook Island and New Zealand European heritage. Her artistic and curatorial practice explores notions of familial histories, the diasporic lived experience, ruin and the land through photography and moving image. She has presented solo exhibitions at Wellington Street Projects, Verge Gallery and Bus Projects. She has written for publications such as 4A Papers, VAULT Magazine and Art Almanac and is currently finishing her Masters of Fine Arts at UNSW.

Artist In Conversation: Talia Smith

30 March 2022, 1pm
Online via Zoom

Join Hyphenated Biennial artist Talia Smith and Incinerator Gallery curator Jake Treacy for an online discussion of Talia’s project Maybe this is letting go.


Hyphenated Biennial is a new artist-led project set to connect communities across Melbourne’s West, on the Lands of the Kulin Nation. The inaugural edition focuses on dialogues, solidarity and meaningful collaborations between First Nations and Asian diasporic artists.

With exhibitions, public programs and online experiences, the project will run from November 2021 to early 2022. Join in on the conversation with Hyphenated Biennial and reframe our views of the world today.