A fascinating cross between an ethnographic and art show, Oceania at the Royal Academy let my imagination run free yet was sometimes frustrating with the lack of text for scholarly purposes. Still, I now have the catalogue which should answer many of my questions.
This huge stitched tarpaulin of the sea, Kiko Moana, at the entrance gave an indication of what was to follow: a mix of historical and contemporary artefacts
Other works showed the influence of Western art on the traditional skills as in this naturalistic portrait of a woman by the sculpor Aqo in the Soloman Islands in about 1900.
More mixed-media artefacts included a flamboyant headdress from Papua New Guinea
and a suit of armour with a helmet made from the skin of what looked like a puffer fish (great inspiration for a sci-fi outfit)
Another contemporary piece ended the show: New Zealander John Pule’s 5 panel panoramic Kehe te hauaga foou (To all new arrivals).