Oceania at the Royal Academy of Arts

The largest exhibition of the South Pacific in London for decades, Oceania presents an extensive set of objects and art works darting from hundreds of years ago to the present day. It is particularly strong on New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, as primarily sponsors (along with Tonga) of the show. Those with New Zealand or Pacific Islands passports get free entry.

I’m a big fan of Papua New Guinea, and there are some wonderful pieces from there in the exhibition.

The biggest surprise for me were the intricate feather covered pieces from Hawaii, which I’m yet to visit.

There were pieces from most of the islands of the Pacific, including one of the most remote, with a moai from Easter Island.

A few more pieces from the exhibition which is on until 10th December 2018. The timings worked well for me to be in London while it was on, though I’ve seen many similar objects closer to home in New Zealand and travelling around the Pacific.

From wooden items in glass boxes it’s a shock to move suddenly into the modern age with Lisa Reihana’s incredible ‘In Pursuit of Venus (Infected)’. I’ve watched it several times before, when it was originally shown at Auckland Art Gallery, but every time it’s shown is a new version, with new and altered scenes.

Author: jontycrane

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