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Sofia Tekela-Smith
Sofia Tekela-Smith is part of a small but increasing number of New Zealand-based Pacific Island artists working in the medium of body adornment. She has exhibited in leading galleries throughout New Zealand and internationally. Tekela-Smith's artistic practice is directly informed by her knowledge of Pacific aesthetics and this is manifest in form, style, materials and process.

Tekela-Smith considers her artwork to be an extension of self. She traces her artistic gestation back to her childhood on Rotuma, where she acquired many of her art-making skills through her observations of older female relatives. Since this time she has continued to develop her art-making techniques, mainly through experimentation. She consistently employs natural materials that enable her to achieve visual continuity with art forms from the Pacific. These include mother of pearl shell, diridamu seeds, cultured pearls, coconut shell, cowrie shell and pounamu.

Since 2003, she has looked to other mediums such as sculpture and photography as a way of presenting her adornments. Tiny Clouds Small Mountains 1 speaks to her Rotuman and Scottish heritage to evoke the archaeological with fragments of large breast plates found preserved in indeterminate landscapes, bound in mirror frames both reflecting the viewer and integrating them in the work and suggesting jewellery boxes or found treasure.

Sofia Tekela-Smith's work has been included in numerous exhibitions including: Paradise Now? at the Asia Contemporary Society Museum, New York, 2004 and the International Festival of the Arts in Belau, 2004. Her works are also held at Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, and Grassi Museum, Leipzig, Germany.
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams: 16: Heart Adoration
2008
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, stirling silver, Fijian tapa, Fijian kauri, waxed thread, mirror
390mm diameter
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams: 16: Heart Adoration
2008
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, stirling silver, Fijian tapa, Fijian kauri, waxed thread, mirror
390mm diameter
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams, A Woman's Heart
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, silk, mirror
390mm diameter
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams, A Woman's Heart
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, silk, mirror
390mm diameter
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams, 11 Two People
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, artist's own hair, thread, mirror
390mm diameter
Yellow is the Colour of My Dreams, 11 Two People
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
photographic paper, mother of pearl, artist's own hair, thread, mirror
390mm diameter
Tiny clouds Small mountains 2
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lip mother of pearl, pounamu, wax thread photograph, mirror
390mm diameter
Tiny clouds Small mountains 2
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lip mother of pearl, pounamu, wax thread photograph, mirror
390mm diameter
Tiny clouds Small mountains 4
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lip mother of pearl, pounamu, wax thread photograph, mirror
390mm diameter
Tiny clouds Small mountains 4
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lip mother of pearl, pounamu, wax thread photograph, mirror
390mm diameter
Tiny clouds Small mountains install
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
Tiny clouds Small mountains install
2012
Sofia Tekela-Smith
My mother is a kauri tree #2
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
90 x 70 mm
My mother is a kauri tree #2
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
90 x 70 mm
My mother is a kauri tree #3
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
130 x 70 mm
My mother is a kauri tree #3
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
130 x 70 mm
My mother is a kauri tree #4
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
145 x 75 mm
My mother is a kauri tree #4
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
145 x 75 mm
My mother is a kauri tree group
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
My mother is a kauri tree group
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, enamel paint
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #1
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, fresh water pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, glass beads, balsa, fibreglass, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #1
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, fresh water pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, tin, glass beads, balsa, fibreglass, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #10
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, fresh water pearl, cultured pearl, resin, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #10
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, fresh water pearl, cultured pearl, resin, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #14
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, enamel, fibreglass, glass beads, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #14
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, enamel, fibreglass, glass beads, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #15
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, pearl, glass beads, silk thread, enamel, balsa in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #15
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, pearl, glass beads, silk thread, enamel, balsa in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #17
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, silk thread, fibreglass, resin, balsa, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
110 x 165 mm
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #17
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, silk thread, fibreglass, resin, balsa, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
110 x 165 mm
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #18
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
seed pearls, silk thread, balsa, fibreglass, resin, glass beads, in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #18
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
seed pearls, silk thread, balsa, fibreglass, resin, glass beads, in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #19
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, seed pearls, pearl, fibre glass, resin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #19
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, seed pearls, pearl, fibre glass, resin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #2
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #2
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #20
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, resin, tin, pearl, balsa, silk thread in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #20
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, resin, tin, pearl, balsa, silk thread in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #21
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, balsa, resin, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #21
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, balsa, resin, glass beads, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #3
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, glass beads, balsa, fibreglass, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #3
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, glass beads, balsa, fibreglass, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #4
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, pearl, fibreglass, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #4
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, pearl, fibreglass, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #5
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, fibreglass, glass beads, resin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #5
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
black pearl, tin, fibreglass, glass beads, resin, balsa, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #6
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, waxed thread, silk thread, fibreglass, balsa, pearl, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #6
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, waxed thread, silk thread, fibreglass, balsa, pearl, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #7
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
glass beads, fibreglass, enamel, resin, balsa, silk thread, cultured pearl in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #7
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
glass beads, fibreglass, enamel, resin, balsa, silk thread, cultured pearl in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #8
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, enamel, glass beads, resin in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #8
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, tin, enamel, glass beads, resin in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #9
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, fresh water pearl, fibreglass, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin
A prayer, a gesture, a fragrance #9
2013
Sofia Tekela-Smith
gold lipped mother of pearl, sterling silver, waxed thread, fresh water pearl, fibreglass, resin, enamel in old NZ Kauri tin