BE. Established in 2017 Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung lands, Melbourne, Australia

“For NIRIN, BE., in collaboration with Noakes Group, mark a sailing vessel to reactivate the memory of women’s tattoo practice outlawed through colonisation.

Haiveta pays homage to the richness of Pasifika women’s markings worn by our ancestors, passed down through bloodlines that tell a visual story of our heritage, identity and culture. This tradition in many parts of the Pacific has been disrupted through the effects of colonisation and the impacts of missionaries inflicting shame for sacred practices.

The first part of her name, HAI, means heart in Toaripi language from Papua New Guinea. To express the depth of ‘big heart’ the word HAI is often used. Together Haiveta means heartfelt comforter.

Through her powerful visual presence, and migration along the waterways and channels of Sydney Harbour, Haiveta creates a safe passage to reclaim and revive the memory and continuation of this rich and important tradition. Her skin will display, in collaboration with women tattoo and illustration artists from the Pasifika, conceptual motifs to celebrate and honour traditional women’s mark-making.”

A Sydney ferry called Radar was created in 1947, it is now re-born in 2020 as Haiveta and is the ‘mother’ of the Rosman boat fleet on Sydney Harbour. She remained in continuous service for more than 60 years and has undergone a complete refurbishment for the Biennale of Sydney, to form a dynamic moving artwork. Grace Dlabik

Born 1979 in Vienna, Austria Lives and works in Naarm / Birrarung-ga / Melbourne, Australia Paige Uāmaki- Mu

Born 1994 in Central Coast, Australia Lives and works on the land of the Yugambeh people, Gold Coast, Australia Tavao Lilia Fa’avae-Eli

Born in Tokoroa, New Zealand Lives and works in the Dharawal / Campbelltown, Australia Fern Ngatai

Born 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand Lives and works in Auckland Aunty Sana Balai

Born in Buku Island, autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea Lives and works in Naarm / Birrarung-ga / Melbourne, Australia

BE., ‘NIRIN HAIVETA’, 2020. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Noakes Group. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.