11th Festival of Pacific Arts, Solomon Islands
The 11th Festival of Pacific Arts was held in the Solomon Islands on 1 to 14 July 2012. This year's theme was 'Culture in Harmony with Nature'. More than 20 Pacific countries and territories, and close to 2,000 participants, attended the festival.
The Australian delegation led by the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, includes 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and members of the Queensland Theatre Company. The Australian artists represent an extensive range of Indigenous art forms and cultural practices, from dance and visual arts in the Torres Strait, desert reggae in Papunya, fabric design in the Tiwi to glassworks and poetry from Canberra.
Among the artists are:
- the Tjupi Band, who are part of a new wave of Indigenous Australian reggae
- the Chooky Dancers, widely known through their previous work, Wrong Skin (Ngurrumilmarrmiryu) and their appearance in the film Bran Nue Dae
- Sharon Phineasa, whose passion for preserving culture through artistic expression leads to work across artforms including, painting, printmaking, collage, sculpture and carving, and
- singer/songwriter Jess Beck, who creates a unique blend of pop, folk and jazz with her band.
Held every four years since 1972, the Festival of Pacific Arts is the Pacific's largest regional cultural gathering. The festival is a unique opportunity for the Pacific community to come together to share, revitalise and maintain their traditional arts and culture and reflect on the impact and issues of climate change, technology and globalisation of culture. Australia hosted the festival in 1988 in Townsville.