Islands in the sun

First National Gallery of Australia exhibition to visit Papua New Guinea

Thursday 16 May 2002

The National Gallery of Australia's Program of Travelling Exhibitions is visiting Papua New Guinea for the first time, with Islands in the Sun, a visually uplifting collection of prints by artists from Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The exhibition will be on display at the Papua New Guinea Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby from the May 20 to June 25.

Details of the exhibition were announced today by Ms Barbara Poliness, Project Officer with the Gallery's Travelling Exhibitions Program.

'The exhibition is visiting Papua New Guinea because the National Gallery of Australia has a leadership role to play in the Asia and Pacific regions', Ms Poliness said.

'We aim to foster and promote collegiate relationships with other national cultural institutions. The program to provide access to our collection is enthusiastically supported by our partners in this project - the Australian High Commission and the Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund', she said.

Printmaking was introduced in Papua New Guinea in the late 1960s and its artists, as with indigenous artists in the Australasian region, share strong thematic links of subject matter expressed in their print works.

'All indigenous people of the Australasian region, although belonging to different cultures, share the same history of European colonisation and flourishing print cultures', Ms Poliness said.

This exhibition will bring together a group of cross-cultural collaborative works which have produced quite different kinds of ideas, images, knowledge and values.

Three artists from Papua New Guinea feature in the exhibition - Mathias Kauage, David Lasisi, Martin Morububuna. Their work reflects the changing social, political, artistic, literary and educational changes in PNG during the 1970s. All three artists will be present at the official opening, launched by the wife of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Lady Roslyn Morauta.

Transporting the exhibition safely to the tropics has proved a logistical challenge for the Gallery.

Special humidity controlled storage facilities have been made available for the exhibition. Several crates had to be reconfigured so they could fit into the cargo hold of the plane. 'We will also be taking along 120 metres of special coated chain, 202 button head screws, an electric drill and 20 pairs of white cotton gloves', Ms Poliness said.

For further information contact:
Barbara Poliness 02 6240 6619;
Ken Begg (0412) 174319