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Varilaku Pacific Arts from the Solomon Islands

written by Crispin Howarth

National Gallery of Australia | ISBN 9780642334206

Paperback – 128 pages

$34.95

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Through the finest traditional Solomon Islands art in Australia's museums and galleries, "Varilaku" explores kastom beliefs in ancestral ghosts, the world of spirit beings, ocean-bound raiding expeditions, and the Indigenous aesthetics of the self--the use of adornments to express identity and status from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.The earliest accounts by travelers to the region note the particular finesse, care, and attention given by Solomon Islanders to their arts. Pitch-black surfaces, gleaming inlaid sections of shell, and distended faces are only some of the distinct features of the works in Varilaku. Figurative sculpture varies from one island to the next: abstraction in the northern islands, clustered shell inlay in the southern islands, and sublime naturalism in the western islands.

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