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Imagining
Papua New Guinea

Introduction | Essay | Selected works

 

Mathias Kauage 'not titled [multi-coloured abstract mask]' 1969 felt tipped pen, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Mathias Kauage ' Independence celebration 4' 1975, stencil, 52.2 x 78.2cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra more detail

After generations of colonial rule, the free nation of Papua New Guinea was established in 1975. This exhibition celebrates 30 years of independence of Australia’s nearest neighbour. Stories and images, both traditional and imaginary, are recorded in pen, pencil, woodcuts and screenprints – all new forms of expression to artists from the region. These prints and drawings, produced in the years around independence, show ways in which Papua Niuginian artists responded to their contemporary world. These visions confronting the modern world encompass its social structures and technologies, and delight in the patterns and textures of these mediums to create fantastical creatures, both real and imagined.