Art and Life in Melanesia (Pacific Focus) (Paperback)
What represents Melanesian art today? Is there modern Melanesian art? Who are the artists? What are the subjects of their art? Art and Life in Melanesia is timely in its exploration of Melanesian artists and their voices, providing an important juncture for many in the region and beyond to take stock of what is happening in Melanesian art. The thirteen chapters are linked essays premised around major cultural themes including Kastom, Christianity, Indigenisation and Globalisation, Markets, Festivals, Diasporas, Urban Culture and Politics. Each theme focuses on ideas, issues and some specific arts practices, drawing examples from a few localities. Not every country is addressed under each theme, an approach that provides the reader with substantive country-specific information. Research for this book was supported by the University of Queensland.
Susan Cochrane (b.1949) is a scholar and curator specialising in contemporary indigenous art. Her research interests since 1984 have been in the field of recent and contemporary Pacific art and art history and the past, present and future representation of indigenous Pacific cultures in museums. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and has worked on collaborative projects in PNG, New Caledonia the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu over many years. Speaking French and Tok Pisin facilitates her cross-cultural research. She gained her MA (Hons) degree at the School of Creative Arts at Wollongong University in 1984, followed by the achievement of her Doctorate in 1995, both in the discipline of Art History. In 2005 she was awarded MPhil (Creative Writing) at the University of Queensland. Her publications include Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea (1997), Beretara: New Pacific Art (2001, in English and French editions) and Art and Life in Melanesia (in press). She was editor of Aboriginal Art: Highlights from Collections in Australian Museums and Art Galleries (2001) and is co-editor with Max Quanchi of Hunting the Collectors: Pacific Collections in Australia. Research and writing commissions include essays, encyclopaedia entries, feasibility studies, catalogue essays, articles and reviews for leading art journals. As a curator she headed the Department of Contemporary Pacific Art at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia (1995-98) and was a consultant to the Asia Pacific Triennial (1996 and 1999), Sydney Olympics Arts Festival (2000) and other major arts events.