In 2004 Emily graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, (Maj. Photography) she then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma Fine Arts, (Maj. Photography) at the University of Auckland in 2005. Since then Emily has gained a depth of experience in in film and television in her capacity as camera operator, art director, and designer as required across numerous media projects. Emily is also an active member of the Tongan arts collective No’o Fakataha, and exhibits nationally and internationally.
Emily’s cultural heritage
God and Tonga are my Inheritance is a body of work comprised of photographs that were taken during 2015 coronation of His Majesty King Tupou VI, the 24th Tu’i Kanokupulu, and 6th monarch of modern Tonga. As a visual record the photographs in God and Tonga are my Inheritance are a celebration of Tongan history and tradition that add to a collective memory and experience of a significant occasion. From the hundreds of photographs taken by Emily, a series of images were carefully selected and detail moments from ceremonial and informal celebrations during the historical event. The resulting series of photographs provide unique and intimate insights into the involvement of family and friends who participated in various presentations and ceremonies, and the many street parties, fashion shows and festivities that took place during the week long celebrations. Alongside these personal and informal celebratory moments, Emily was granted unprecedented access as a member of the media, which presented the opportunity to observe and document traditional ceremonies such as the Taumafa Kava (Royal Kava Ceremony) and the many traditional formalities associated with the inauguration.
Emily’s has been exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions including: God and Tonga are my Inheritance, Fresh Gallery, Auckland, 2015; Nuku’alofa Film Festival Digicel Square, Nuku’alofa, 2015; Mate: Pacific Rituals of Death, Gallery Smith Project Space, Melbourne, 2015; Digital Talanoa, Fresh Gallery, Auckland, 2015; Tonga i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, Forrester Gallery, Oamaru; Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru Ashburton Gallery, Ashburton, 2015; Pataka, Wellington, 2014; Crossing the Line, Northart, 2014; Tongan to the Bone, Otara Cube, Auckland, 2013; No’o Fakataha, Atenisi University, Nuku’alofa, 2013, Matala No’o Fakataha, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland, 2012; Oceanic Transformations, Victoria University, Melbourne, 2010.