Luisa Tora (Artist), Molly Rangiwai-McHale (Artist)

Decolonise your tongue

Decolonise your tongue by Luisa Tora, Molly Rangiwai-McHale

Artwork Detail

Molly Rangiwai-McHale and Luisa Tora’s monumental sculpture DECOLONISE YOUR TONGUE, 2022 uses soft materials to approach difficult subjects. Standing over three metres tall, the inflatable black bear rests against the wall holding a red candy heart. Text on the heart reads ‘DECOLONISE YOUR TONGUE’, a phrase that acts as an imperative to utilise language to rework and reclaim cultural forms of celebration and protection. Here, they reclaim the childhood teddy bear, comparing the reduction of a fierce animal into a docile, small, cute collectable with the mispronunciation of Indigenous names. The work is, the artists state, ‘a reminder that names link us to our whakapapa, they are maps home, and signposts on the way. Names are a part of oral history that documents celebrations and tragedies alike. They are living spaces where Indigenous knowledge and knowledge systems flourish.’


Decolonise your tongue
Luisa Tora, Molly Rangiwai-McHale
Production date
inflatable PVC
3500 x 2200 mm
Credit line
Commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2022
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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