Pacific Storms 2011 – Lusim Land
A Pacific arts contemporary art exhibition
Sponsors: Logan City Council; Logan Art Gallery; The Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission; Ausenco; Secretariat of the Pacific Community; Beyond Pacific Art; Air Niugini and Fiji National Heritage
Pacific Storms, a contemporary art exhibition of key works about Pacific island issues curated by Joycelin Leahy opened at Logan Art Gallery on May 20 to a crowd of 300 people. The exhibition supported by Logan Art Gallery and Logan City council runs from May 17 – June 25. It was opened by Pacific Historian Professor Clive Moore.
The exhibition brings an important understanding of Australia to its closest neighbors and the fact that Pacific islands’ concerns and their worlds were not so different to Australia’s. The exhibition features over ten well-known Pacific Island artists including islanders who are residents of Australia.
The title of the exhibition Pacific Storms theme Lusim Land gives an indication of the challenges of global warming and sea level rise, mining, and loss of land through logging and other economic development. The exhibition explores the views of islanders who come from many small, isolated and limited land yet they face global contemporary challenges of large magnitudes, equally faced by Australia.
“The indigenous Pacific people, many who are residents of Australia and live in communities such as Logan continue to inter-connect closely with their own people. Their cultures are very much alive and are strongly connected to land and its resources. Their identity comes from their ancestry groups and the loss of land means a loss of identity”, Curator Ms Leahy said.
Pacific Island cultures in general do not separate nature/environment from people and culture, but look upon all aspects as parts of a complex, integrated and finely-balanced systems; they can often more easily perceive interconnections that most outsiders miss. Australia has Pacific communities scattered across its state and territories. The 2001 census says there may be 100,000 across Australia which means that it is likely there may be more than 300,000. In Logan City alone it is estimated that 15,000 Samoans live there, not taking into account many generations that have entered Queensland from New Zealand. Many other islander groups such as the South Sea Islanders are descendants of the Black-birding trade who arrived on Australian shores 1860s.
Australia has committed $150 Million over three years under the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative to help meet high priority adaptation needs of vulnerable countries in the region, which focuses on Pacific Islands and East Timor.
What makes Pacific Storms Contemporary Art Exhibition unique is that it integrates contemporary visual, digital and performance arts with intangible heritage of the Pacific Islands. Pacific islanders living in Australia have an opportunity to re-live their cultures through community activities such as lei-making, craft and toy making and traditional cooking and dancing.
Pacific Storms aptly began in 2009 in Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery where the first Pacific Islanders, from the South Seas set foot on the sugarcane plantations in Queensland. Opening the exhibition to a crowd of 450 people, MP Duncan Kerr said Australia continues to bind the strong links that have been set in the 1860s and it exhibitions such as Pacific Storms that reflect this long-span bind and the importance of and the manner in which the diverse language and cultural groups can speak to us on an issue of contemporary importance.
The exhibition traveled to Brisbane city where it was opened by Rugby League Legend Mal Meninga and in the 21 days of showing, it was visited by more than 12,000 people.
End of Press Release
18 May – 25 June, 2011
Logan Art Gallery
Cnr Wembley Road and Jacaranda Ave,
Logan Central, Queensland, Australia
Phone: (07) 3412 5519 • Fax: (07) 3412 5350 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.logan.qld.gov.au/artgallery
Opening hours: 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday to Saturday
Pacific Storms on the Coconut Wireless:
Beyond Art: Pacific Storms 2009
Review of Pacific Storms: Changing perceptions of the Pacific through art by Alena Duykers on NewsBytes
Images via Pacific Storms on Facebook