Five items from the Adventist Heritage Centre’s South Sea Islands Museum feature in the first Solomon Islands art exhibition in Australia.
Howarth describes the centre’s South Sea Islands Museum collection as “among the finest to be found anywhere in Australia
Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands at the National Gallery of Australia includes more than 60 works from the 1860s to the 1940s, when “indigenous cultures came under the unstoppable influence of colonial administration and Christianity.”
According to the gallery, the exhibition is the most comprehensive since the British Museum’s in 1974. It explores traditional beliefs in ancestral ghosts, the world of spirit beings, ocean-bound raiding expeditions and the indigenous aesthetics of the self, such as the use of adornments to express identity and status.
|Rose-lee Power with items loaned from the South Sea Islands Museum.|
Adventist Heritage Centre curator Rose-lee Power played a significant role in ensuring the loans of the arts “without which the exhibition would have been greatly impoverished,” says Crispin Howarth, curator of Pacific arts at the gallery.
Howarth describes the centre’s South Sea Islands Museum collection as “among the finest to be found anywhere in Australia.” Items in the collection come primarily from gifts donated by Seventh-day Adventist missionaries who served in the Pacific islands.
The Adventist Heritage Centre is located on Avondale College of Higher Education’s Lake Macquarie campus and the South Sea Islands Museum on Avondale Road in Cooranbong.
Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands is in the Orde Poynton Gallery at the National Gallery of Australia until Sunday, May 29, 2011. Entry is free.
Photo Credit: Ann Stafford.