Exhibition Essays

Salt and offering

November 2022

Ocean of Whispers — Salt

Sionainn King

for days upon days upon days
the salt of me 
falls and falls and falls
in lament for all that we have lost
unsung songs,
unspoken words,
un-something, something  

moana is calling
her voice travelling
across the land
land, that is not ours
but somehow it is home
the sound of moana
sweeping up the valley
drawing me to her,
nothing more than a

moana bundles me up
she whispers to my soul
a reminder
the song of lament is over
a new song upon the horizon
all that has been lost
held within, all along
the salt of the sea,
and the salt of me
come together
sharing the gafa of us and ours,
held in every drop of her  

the salt of me
falls and falls and falls
in celebration
that we have
songs to sing
words to speak
the something something
our souls know,
but we have not experienced yet  

salt of me,
washed and cleansed
by the salt of the sea,
e fa’avavau, e fa’avavau lava,

Kasi Valu, Lop@, 2022, digital video 4:53 (stills)

Kasi Valu, Lop@, 2022, digital video 4:53 (stills)

Sionainn King

Born and raised by my Irish mother, with deep support from my beautiful Nan. My father, born as a Sāmoan, was adopted by a palagi family.  I was raised with an incredible disconnect from my Sāmoan heritage. Over my 30 years of life, I have continuously heard the call of my ancestors to return to them, to know who and where I belong to, and to sing the songs of our people again. Writing has always been my safe place in a turbulent home, and this safe space has continued into my adulthood. Writing is a place where I can process and find ways to understand the experiences I have.