Twist and Loop

‘Twist and loop’ describes both a technique used by women in Papua New Guinea to create knotted fabrics and the movements in choreographed dance sequences performed during sing sing (ceremony and dance). Twist and Loop is also the title of a performance event created for the exhibition ‘No.1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966–2016’.…

Out of sight: Australia in Papua New Guinea

Last year saw Papua New Guinea celebrate 40 years of independence from Australia, but few Australians know the history of the colonial relationship between the countries. It’s time we embraced our closest neighbour writes Sean Dorney. In a book published earlier this year, a Lowy Institute Penguin paperback called The Embarrassed Colonialist, I argue that…

Connections with culture

The QAGOMA Learning program accompanying ‘No 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016’ focusses on the role art can play in building bridges to cultural heritage and history. A pupil-free day in mid-October enabled 47 Papua New Guinean students from six schools in South East Queensland to travel to the Gallery to explore the…

There is a magic and energy around the gathering of artists

There is a magic and energy around the gathering of artists, friends and supporters at an exhibition opening, and this energy was certainly present at the opening of ‘No 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016‘. The magic of that night however rested on two very special gifts. The first was a moving acknowledgement to Country…

Interview: Ruth McDougall, Curator ‘No. 1 Neighbour’

We caught up with Ruth McDougall, Curator of Pacific Art and the curator behind the 2016 exhibition ‘No.1 Neighbour: Art from Papua New Guinea 1966–2016’ The exhibition focused on the vibrancy of contemporary artistic expression within Papua New Guinea, and considered Australia’s strong historical ties to its closest neighbour through some of the earliest works…

All about the bilum

For centuries, the bilum bag has been made from natural fibres native to Papua New Guinea. Strips of leaves, grasses or tree bark are battered and scraped until the plant matter becomes fibrous then dried in the sun. Once dried, fibres are twisted between the hand and thigh into a single strong yarn. This is…