Art of The Solomon Islands – Kevin Conru

“A place of tropical sun, aquamarine-blue sea, white-sand palm-fringed beaches and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet in your life – the Solomon Islands are the sort of South Pacific location that many of us dream of, but often know little about.”  Mark Cocker

The sea is the single greatest source of inspiration for the art from the Solomon Islands, which are located northeast of New Guinea. Artistic forms, embellishments, designs, functions, and materials are drawn from a watery canvas that are subtly nuanced, yet richly homogenous. In the art of the Solomons, there is a link between the visual and the practical. Objects are created with an understanding of pure, aquiline forms, and are shaped to give the most graceful outline and poised balance.

This book presents the Conru collection of art from the Solomon Islands, which encompasses a broad assortment of images, weapons, body ornaments and other artifacts. So numerous and diverse are the objects from this island group that it is difficult for a single collection to be totally representative. However, the collection approximates a representative status, comprising masks from Nissan and Buka, a large figure from Bougainville, as well as imagery and other artifacts from the western down through the southeastern islands. The artworks range from the eighteenth to the early twentith centuries.


Kevin Conru is known for his publications on Southern African art, on the arts of the Pacific Islands and on the photographs of Hugo Bernatzik. He has travelled extensively in the Pacific and is a member of the Pacific Arts Association and the Oceanic Art Society. He has an Arts Policy MA from The City University, London, and is an orchestral double bassist.  He has published online the South Seas diary of a turn-of-the 20th century Australian journalist, and has produced a major book on the art of the Bismarck Archipelago in Melanesia which was released in September, 2013.

This book formed the basis of the Rotterdam Wereld Museum’s Ring of Fire exhibition that took place in 2013-2014.

He has curated an important exhibition of Papua New Guinea masterpieces from the Royal Museum for Central Africa, which was held in Brussels in 2014.
Along with Robert Hales, he published a comprehensive book on the archive of William Oldman. His most recent books/exhibitions include Sepik/Ramun Art in 2019 and Polynesian Art in 2023 He has one of the most important private collections dedicated to the art from the Solomon Islands. He has one of the most important private collections dedicated to the art from the Solomon Islands

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Mon 15th July 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

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