Pascale Taurua was born in New Caledonia, an idyllic French island territory, to a Caledonian mother and Tahitian father, and graduated from the Conservatoire of Arts, Papeete, Tahiti in 1998 where she was living at the time.
An island girl until the age of 18, it was after her election as Miss France 1978 that Taurua made the move to the United States, and then to Paris where much of her defining artistic work and evolution took place. Taurua now resides in Paris where her creativity continues to flourish.
Like many creatives before her, including Tahitian artists such as Gauguin, Boullaire, Bouloc and Ravello, Taurua’s earliest artistic inspiration comes from the peaceful island women of Tahiti – their strong sense of self and ownership of their femininity is found reflected across Taurua’s art.
From an idyllic childhood came traumas that would become the major catalysts for Taurua’s artistic journey. Having experienced sexual assault at the age of 14, in an act of defiance Taurua creates strong women in her work, firmly in control.
Much of her art centres around the female experience, with strong roots in feminism inspired by her Mother, Grandmother and her female relatives before them. Taurua’s artistic endeavour facilitates a powerful role reversal in which she is not at the mercy of her abuser, but the master of her body, desires, and her art.
At the age of 28, Taurua experienced further trauma in the form of a life-changing car accident that resulted in her losing sight in one eye. As both a creative, and former Miss France, the physical effects of the accident were particularly devastating for Taurua. Art became a therapy in which she transferred the beauty she felt she had lost to her art.
Despite her visual impairment, her artistic vision was ignited, leading Taurua to produce the provocative pieces for which she is known – giving insight into subjects including female beauty, self-perception and expression.
“From a naïve, used, manipulated person, I have become a strong person, sure of herself and knowing what she wants and where she wants to go – even if there are obstacles trying to block my path. I never let my past trauma stop me.”
“Mastering my technique has allowed me to achieve equilibrium, not only on the canvas, but within myself.”
MISS FRANCE '78
Pascale Taurua, born in 1961 in Nouméa, is a French painter elected Miss New Caledonia 1977, then Miss France 1978.
On December 28 1977, in Paris, an 18-year-old Taurua was awarded the title of Miss France 1978. This title qualified her for the Miss Universe world contest in Mexico City, Miss International in Tokyo, and Miss World in London.
Taurua is the first Miss New Caledonia elected Miss France, however she did not hold this title for more than six months as she stood down after realising how women were used by the agency and seen in the mind of the global audiences – especially men. This act of defiance was the beginning of her feminist journey and affirmed her strength to exist for what she is and not what she represents.