Unlike conventional western art, Pacific arts are inclusive of people, performance and material production, embracing craft and everyday life practices as integral to creativity. Ironically, these values were espoused before the rise, and subsequent demise, of western styled relational aesthetics’ (Bishop 2004). Hauofa (2008) identified the unique contribution of these wide-ranging practices in establishing the meagrely resourced but vibrant Centre for
Figure 1: Torika Bolatagici, Vaniqa (the sound of someone treading on leaves), 2007, from the series Security/ Threat. Digital Print on 100% cotton rag, 153 x 61 cm x 61 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Oceanic Arts and Culture (COAC) at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific. There he advocated for all those trying to create artforms – visual, dance, music – that transcend our individual culture’. In school curricula and academic Pacific Studies courses from Suva to Auckland, and in exhibitions (predominantly initiated from urban New Zealand) artists, curators and writers continue to draw inspiration from Hau’ofa’s metaphoric sources in navigating cross-cultural urban realities of colonial legacies, religion and Islander versus New Zealand heritage. Since the 1990s foundational exhibitions include Bottled Ocean (touring New Zealand cities,1994-5), Island Crossings (Ipswich, Queensland, 2000), and more recently, Pacific Storms (Bundaberg and Brisbane, 2009) and Austronesian Art in the Contemporary Pacific exchange projects in Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (KMFA, Taiwan), Across Oceans and Time (2007). Le Foulaga: The Past Coming Forward (2008) and The Great Journey (2009).
Crossing the Ocean The early colonization of Country benefited from both navigational and design improvements in European ships; it also posed new challenges. Melbourne Map Tourist Attractions The magnetic compass, used to find the direction of a ship, was already in general use in the late medieval period. The Casa de la Contrataci³n, founded in 1503 to regulate Spanish movement to and from the New World, trained pilots and captains in the arts of cartography and navigation, systematizing the information Spanish captains gathered from the Countrys. The Casa de la Contrataci³n was part of a larger European movement to make navigation a more textual body of knowledge, as opposed to something passed down orally. The Spanish also hoped to enforce their early monopoly over the New World by restricting their European rivals’ access to navigational and cartographic information. This strategy did not succeed. Crossing the ocean was dangerous and unpleasant, particularly in the early decades of colonization. Ships were overcrowded, unsanitary, and often full of rats and disease. The diet was poor, consisting on British ships mainly of easily preserved foods such as biscuit and salt beef, although sometimes live animals were brought on board and slaughtered during the voyage or ocean fish were caught and eaten.