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Imagining the Pacific at City Gallery, Wellington.

Offering a journey into the soul of the Pacific, Oceania brings together iconic works of art by Maori, Pacific and Pakeha artists from recent decades alongside textiles and carvings from earlier times.

The exhibition encompasses visions of earthly paradise as well as the darker realities of colonial history and nuclear testing. In paintings, photographs, carvings, jewellery, and sculpture, visitors will encounter ancestors and gods as well as contemporary peoples.

Oceania asserts the significance of the Pacific, not only as a place of great navigators and explorers, but also of imaginative artists. It offers an unprecedented view of the many ways in which Oceanic Art-one of the great traditions in world art-has been revisited and revitalised by recent generations of artists.


In this exhibition

    West Gallery

    Works about humanity, community and life are juxtaposed with works inspired by nature.

    East Gallery

    Experience Ralph Hotere's magisterial work Black Phoenix.

  • Portrait of a life-cast of Koe, Timor, 2010, Pardington, Fiona
    Hancock Gallery

    Visions of Oceania which traverse time and space, melding traditional and modern materials.

  • Bill Culbert, Spacific Plastics, 2001
    North Gallery

    Island and archipelagoes are evoked in the artworks here—works which are also inflected with environmental concerns.

  • Daughter of the high chief (From the 'Savage nobility' series), 2001, Kihara, Shigeyuki.
    South Gallery

    This gallery is grouped in three parts, 'Visions of Beyond', 'Our Place Within' and 'The Living Fabric'.

  • Safety Matches (From the series 'New Angel'),1998, White, Robin.
    Hirschfeld Gallery

    Woven pandanus tablemats and prints made during Robin White's time on the island Kiribati.

  • Battle of the Noble Savages, 2007, Semu, Greg.
    Deane Gallery

    A series of photographic works featuring well-known Māori personalities engaged in fictitious battles.