In 2009 an artist-curated exhibition Pacific Storms swept into Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery and throughout local communities, later travelling to Brisbane’s Waterfront Place and, re-configured as Lusim Land, to Logan City in 2011 accompanied by a Pacific textiles exhibition Talking Tapa. For large urban audiences these endeavours laid waste to any claims of stereotypical Pacific art. Declared by curators, Joycelin Kauc Leahy and Bianca Acimovic (2009: 8-9) as a platform of contemporary creativity which integrates and addresses the real issues of the modern Pacific society’, the project foregrounded Indigenous/Pacific issues including environmental concerns and local histories of indentured labour (blackbirding’ of 50,000 South Sea Islanders formerly known as Kanakas’)5 (Moore 2001), some of whose descendants exhibited in Pacific Storms. This project not only featured a wide range of contemporary work made locally, across Australia and in the Islands by 27 artists, but its collaborative nature and fluid connections between local communities and conventional art world protocols created a dynamic and convivial, if complex, model for curating the Pacific in Australia (Ahrens 2010).
Apparent institutional indifference to these Pacific populations and programmes becomes even more puzzling considering Australia’s broad and long history of engagement with Oceania, particularly in Melanesia. Furthermore, there has been a great deal of scholarship by the Canberra School of Pacific historians’ (Hauofa 2000: 455), and longstanding independent advocacy for contemporary Pacific art by researchers, educators and curators (such as, Susan Cochrane, Hugh Stevenson, Ross Searle, Uli and Georgina Beier, Michael Mel, Margaret Jolly and Jacqueline Lewis-Harris). Even the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies, a national, multidisciplinary education and advocacy organization inaugurated in 2006, is just beginning to embrace contemporary Pacific, but not Indigenous, visual art. Prior to Art Monthly Australia’s 2010 edition of Bountiful OzPacifica, writings on contemporary Australian/Pacific art have been dispersed across catalogue essays, occasional articles in industry or, rarely, scholarly journals. While New Zealand-based, Pacific material is abundant, Australian authored blogs are few and include benchmark studies by Cochrane, notably, Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea (1997), Beretara: Contemporary Pacific Art (2001) and Art and Life in Melanesia (2007b).
Camp meeting. A religious gathering, usually held outdoors or Fort Worth Map in a tent and lasting for several days, during which attendees may lodge in tents or temporary Fort Worth Map houses. Also called a revival or revival meeting. Carrying trade. The business of transporting goods from one place to another, usually carried out by someone other than the producer of the goods. Casa de Contrataci³n.
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