Canberra, 25 February 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The National Gallery of Australia is hosting “Varilaku: Pacific arts from Solomon Islands” from 24 February until 29 May 2011. The exhibition focuses on traditional art from the Solomon islands.
The art featured in “Varilaku” is both beautiful and aggressive. This is the first time the striking artworks of this nation have been united in one exhibition. The objects are on loan from numerous of the country’s museums and private collections. “Varilaku” examines the cultural diversity of these islands in an era when their inhabitants were still seen as savages and barbarians. Their mode of life reflects a combination of elegance, sophistication, vanity and passion.
The exhibition covers the period from 1860 to 1940 and represents a period of great change during which the indigenous inhabitants’ lifestyle was greatly affected by colonial administration and Christianity. “Varilaku” focuses on the islanders’ unique depiction of their traditional beliefs, such as the spirits of the ancestors and the spiritual world, as well as representations of war expeditions.