Pacific art on show in London
than 200 historic objects from the South Pacific are part of a major Oceanic art exhibition that is showing in London until December before moving to Paris in March.
The exhibition marks the 250th anniversary year of the Royal Academy of Arts, which was founded in 1768, the same year that James Cook set out to track the transit of Venus and search for Terra Australis Incognita the unknown southern continent – as Europeans called it.
Adrian Locke, a senior curator at the Royal Academy, says it is the first time some of the objects have been on public display. It is also the UK’s first major show exploring Oceanic art.
Exhibition items come from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, and across Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. As well as ornaments, huge canoes and stunning god images, there are drawings by the Polynesian navigator Tupaia, who travelled on Cook’s ship Endeavour.
Entry is free for Papua New Guinean passport holders. ■