Salote Tawale was born in Suva, Fiji Islands and grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Cultural identity is a central focus in her research. The inherent conflict of being from a mixed heritage (Fiji and Australia), that simultaneously includes and excludes Tawale from a dominant post-colonial Australia, is a significant consideration in her arts practice. Intrinsically performative – employing photography, video, drawing, sculpture, installation and live actions – Tawale re-forms and performs her identity and experience of a translocated Indigeneity, that is, removed from land and separated from traditional practices and consequently repositioned within immigrant histories.
Tawale completed an undergraduate degree in Media Arts at RMIT University and a Masters of Fine Art at Sydney College of the Arts. Her works have been exhibited within Australia and internationally including at ParaSite Gallery, Hong Kong; St Pauls Gallery, Auckland; Indonesian Contemporary Art Network Yogyakarta; and Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney. In 2017 Tawale was awarded the inaugural Arts NSW Visual Artists Fellowship to record oral histories and connect to artists in the Fiji Islands, travel to major art events in Europe, including the Venice Biennale and Documenta, and forge connections with the Institute of International Visual Arts and Stuart Hall Library in the UK. Tawale is the current recipient of a six-month Australia Council for the Arts residency hosted by ACME studios in London.