Tribal Art of Papua New Guinea

13 June – 24 July 1984

Papua New Guinea is reputed to have over 700 different dialects within a landmass of similar area to New Zealand. It is recognised as one of one of the most significant art areas in the South Pacific region and we have chosen two of the more prolific regions (Gulf and Sepik) to highlight the superb examples of Primitive Art produced in Papua New Guinea today.

Traditionally most of the works in this exhibition would have been produced for specific religious or social ceremonies. In recent years they are produced mainly for their commercial potential. This does not necessarily detract from the intrinsic beauty of the objects and the exhibition displays fifty pieces which will give the viewer an insight into the design and decorative aspects of Papua New Guinea Tribal Art as practised today.

The exhibition is curated by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery and will tour nine other galleries over the next two years. We wish to acknowledge Mrs Helen Dennett of Port Moresby for her curatorial assistance and also Cathay Pacific for their sponsorship. The exhibition will be opened by the Papua New Guinean High Commissioner to New Zealand, Sir Kuamala Kalo MBE on June 13th at 7.45 p.m.

('Tribal Art of Papua New Guinea - Art of the Gulf and Sepik', Bulletin, No.33, May/June 1984, p.2)

Exhibition number 320